Queen’s announce scholarship endowment to honour poet Michael Longley CBE and Professor Edna Longley
Queen’s University Belfast has announced the endowment of a £400,000 poetry scholarship for postgraduate students and the creation of a classroom known as the Longley Room, in recognition of the lifetime of poetry excellence from Michael Longley CBE and his wife, Professor Emerita Edna Longley.
The gift from Mark Pigott KBE, which was matched by the University, to create the endowment, will establish the Michael Longley Endowed Scholarship Fund. This will fund two poetry scholarships each year, ensuring that future students benefit from valuable scholarship assistance, and are able to pursue their passion for poetry regardless of their background and financial means.
Each scholarship is valued at £7,500 and will be awarded to students studying on the MA in Poetry. The scholarships will be awarded beginning in the 2021/22 academic year. One scholarship will be for a student from the island of Ireland with preference given to students from a ‘widening participation’ (disadvantaged or non-traditional) background. The second scholarship will be for a student from the UK or EU, with preference given to students from Great Britain.
Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast commented: "Queen’s University is delighted with this generous gift from Mark Pigott KBE, which will further enhance the University’s rich literary tradition and acknowledge the incredible poetic talent of Belfast poet and Honorary Queen’s graduate Michael Longley CBE, and Edna Longley, poetry critic, lecturer and Professor of English at the University, and now an esteemed Professor Emerita and Honorary graduate.”
Michael Longley said: “Poetry is my religion. It is how I make sense of life. For more than sixty years, it has been my soul-work. I am delighted that this endowment will give support to students taking the excellent MA in Poetry at Queen’s University. Since the 1960s, Queen’s has been a hub for the writing and criticism of poetry. I am proud to have my name on scholarships which will help to ensure the continuance of that tradition.”