Home LinkEmail Us

Michael Longley

Michael Longley
Michael Longley

Michael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939 and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. After reading classics at Trinity College, Dublin, he taught in schools in Belfast, Dublin and London. He joined the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 1970, working in literature and the traditional arts as Combined Arts Director before taking early retirement from the post in 1991. He was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2001.

His first collection of poetry, No Continuing City: Poems 1963-1968, was published in 1969, and the collection Poems 1963-1983 was published in 1985. There was a 12-year gap between the publication of The Echo Gate: Poems 1975-1979 (1979) and the acclaimed Gorse Fires (1991), winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award. The Weather in Japan (2000), won the Hawthornden Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Belfast Arts Award for Literature. He is editor of 20th Century Irish Poems (2002).

Michael Longley was Writer Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1993. He has written widely on the arts in Northern Ireland, contributing to magazines including Encounter and Phoenix and has written scripts for BBC radio. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of Aosdána, an affiliation of Irish artists engaged in literature, music and visual arts. His Collected Poems was published in 2006.

The recordings below were made at the 'Friendship of Poets' symposium in November 2006.

Michael Longley reading The Friendship of Young Poets by Douglas Dunn

Michael Longley introducing Douglas Dunn

Michael Longley reading Love Poem by Douglas Dunn

Michael Longley introducing Kathleen Jamie and Douglas Dunn

Michael Longley reading On the design ... by Kathleen Jamie

Michael Longley reading Bolus by Kathleen Jamie

© Michael Longley and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry 2006.