Celebrated for his lyrical intensity, his metaphysical wit, his thematic and formal range, Michael Longley is widely regarded as one of the finest poets in these islands. There are no hard boundaries between Longley's love poetry, his nature poetry, his war poetry and his elegies.
Celebrated for his lyrical intensity, his metaphysical wit, his thematic and formal range, Michael Longley is widely regarded as one of the finest poets in these islands. His life in Northern Ireland has contributed to the complexity of a poetic universe in which love, friendship and aesthetics contend with war, death and violance. There are no hard boundaries between Longley's love poetry, his nature poetry, his war poetry and his elegies. Longley looks to the poets of Greece and Rome, particularly Homer and Ovid, and to the poets of the two world wars. His great ability, perhaps, has been to distil the large and difficult themes into highly concentrated forms. This is Michael Longley's own selection from thirty years of writing; it reveals the strength and coherence of an extraordinary body of work.
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Michael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939 and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Trinity College Dublin where he read Classics. He has published ten collections of poetry including Gorse Fires (1991) which won the Whitbread Poetry Award, and The Weather in Japan (2000) which won the Hawthornden Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Prize. His Collected Poems was published in 2006. In 2001 he received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and in 2003 the Wilfred Owen Award. He was awarded a CBE in 2010. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry, 2007-2010. He and his wife, the critic Edna Longley, live and work in Belfast.
Selected Poems by Michael Longley
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