Michael Longley

1939- [fam. ‘Mike’]; b. 27 July 1939; Belfast of parents who moved from Clapham Common, London, to Belfast in 1927; his f., Col. Richard Longley, was a First World War veteran and recipient of the Military Cross who re-enlisted in 1939-45 and died much later of cancer from his WWI wounds - at first furniture salesman and then fund-raiser for hospitals and war-memorial; brought up at Bristow Park off Balmoral Avenue in Belfast - without a ‘hinterland of aunts, uncles and cousins’; twin brother Peter and sis. Wendy (b.1930 - a ‘second mother’); ed. Royal Belfast Academical Institution, where he was taught Classics by Charlie Fay - who knitted in class; played on the school Rugby First side; grad. TCD (Classics), where he was friends with Derek Mahon and studied under W. B. Stanford; shared Eric Gregory Award with Derek Mahon, 1965;
met Edna Broderick, dg. of a Catholic academic at TCD, at TCD entrance exams, 1958; m. Edna, with Mahon as his best man, 1964; has three children with Edna (Rebecca, Daniel and Sarah); worked as schoolteacher in Dublin, London, and at the Royal Belfast Academical Institute [RBAI] (‘I loved teaching’), before joining the NI Arts Council, at first as a a temporary Exhibitions Officer, 1970; served as Director of Literature and the Traditional Arts, 1970-92 [vars. Combined Arts to 1991/1993; 21 years]; won Eric Gregory Award, 1965; with Seamus Heaney, ed. Northern Review, 1965-69; contrib. to Three Regional Voices (1968); issued No Continuing City (1969), first poetry collection; ed. Over the Moon and Under the Stars (NI Arts Council 1971) [anthol. of children’s poetry from Northern Ireland]; ed. Causeway: The Arts in Ulster (1971), a successor to Sam Hanna Bell, Nesca Robb and John Hewitt’s The Arts in Ulster (1951);
issued An Exploded View (1973), collection; letter to The Irish Times on poetry and the Troubles (18 June 1974) occasioned by another by Padraic Fiacc advertising his anthology on the Troubles in The Wearing of the Black [‘The artist would be inhuman if he didn’t respond to tragic events in his own community, and an irresponsible artist if he didn’t seek to endorse that response imaginatively’ - Longley]; read with Paul Muldoon at Kilkenny Arts Festival, Summer 1974; appeared with others in Penguin Modern Poets [2nd ser.; No. 10] (1975) - the series being ed. by Anthony Thwaite; issued Man Lying on a Wall (1976); issued The Echo Gate (1979), winner of Poetry Society Choice, in the same year as his mother’s death - with whom he only latterly became close; issued Selected Poems 1963-1980 (1981); issued an autobiographical essay “Tu’Penny Stung” in Poetry Review (1985), and later separately with Lagan Press; received award of American Irish Foundation, 1985;
issued Selected Poems of Louis MacNeice (1988); addressed Cultural Traditions symposium at Coleraine, 5 March 1989; issued Gorse Fires (1991), highly acclaimed collection - often spoken of as a return to poetry after long silence - dealing with Northern Troubles often in the perspective of  Homer’s Odyssey, World War II and the Holocaust; winner of the Whitbread Prize; treated dismissively in the Field Day Anthology of Irish Literature, ed. Seamus Deane (1992); appt. writer-in-residence at TCD, 1993; his poem “Ceasefire” published by John Banville, Lit. Ed., in The Irish Times (3 Sept. 1994), on the weekend immediately following the on IRA announcement of ceasefire - and thence treated as an iconic image of the Peace Process; contrib. poem to TCD Quartrocentenary Catalogue (1995); published “A Prayer” during church-burning arising from Drumcree crisis (Irish Times, 25 Jan. 1997); issued Broken Dishes (1998), fifteen elegies; issued Selected Poems (1998); with Sarah Longley (his dg.), issued Out of the Cold (1999), being ‘drawings and poems for Christmas’;
issued The Weather in Japan (2000), winner of Irish Times Literature Prize, Hawthornden Prize, 2000, and T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry (£10,000), and The Irish Times Irish Poetry Award, 2001; awarded Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, April 2001; edited Twentieth-century Irish Poems (2002), indulging his ‘own preference for the intensity of the lyric’ (Preface); recipient of the Wilfred Owen Award, 2003 and appointed CBE, also 2003; issued Snow Water (2004), for which he was awarded the Premio Librex Montale Prize (Milan), 2005; issued Collected Poems (2006) with Jonathan Cape; read at Fota House on Fota Island, Cork, 2007; his papers are held at Emory University (Atlanta) as Collection 774; there is an RTÉ documentary profile; appt. to Ireland Chair of Poetry, giving his inaug. lecture (“A Jovial Hullaballo: Discovering Poetry”), at QUB on 14 Feb. 2008;

delivered a second lecture at the John Hume Inst. for Global Irish Studies, UCD, 1 Feb. 2010; awarded CBE, 2010; issued A Hundred Doors (2011), winner of the DLR Poetry Now prize, being a collection of poems in the form of tributes to his family with Edna - a dg. Rebecca and her sons Ben and Eddie; a son Daniel and his children Jacob, Conor and Catherine, and a dg. Sarah, with her dg. Maisie; incls. the citation of his father’s Military Cross (‘better than a poem’); there is a commissioned portrait by Jeffrey Morgan in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast; Seamus Heaney’s poem “Personal Helicon” was dedicated to Longley while “Letter to Seamus Heaney” in Exploded View (1973) returned the compliment; read again with Muldoon, Kilkenny Arts Festival, 13 Aug. 2011; issued The Stairwell (2014), a new collection incorporating an elegy-series for his twin brother, winner of Griffin Prize; awarded the Freedom of Belfast, March 2015; with Jane Munro, joint-winner of Griffin International Poetry Prize, June 2015; issued Inglenook (1026), homage to Edna O’Brien; gave the Annual W. G. Sebald Lecture at the British Library on 20 Feb. 2017; forthcoming collection, Angel Hill (June 2017), shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize; Seamus Heaney has called him ‘a keeper of the cultural estate, a custodian of griefs and wonders’. DIW DIL ORM FDA HAM OCIL

Sebald Lecture, 2017
Michael Longley - British Museum W. G. Sebald Lecture (20th Feb. 2017)

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Remembering Carrigskeewaun
—Available in Poetry Archive - online (with other poems); see text-version in Quotations- attached.

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  • Ten Poems (QUB: Festival Publications 1967), 12pp. [to 3rd issue];
  • Secret Marriages [Phoenix Pamphlet Poets, 2; ed. Harry Chambers & Eric J. Morten] (Manchester: Phoenix Poets 1968), 13pp. [nine short poems; copy in York UL; 1,000 copies; first 50 signed & numbered, in hb.];
  • No Continuing City (London: Macmillan; Chester Springs, PA: Dufours Edns. 1969), 56pp.;
  • Under the Moon Over the Stars (1971) [q.pp.; copy in Warwick UL];
  • Lares: Poems (Woodford Green: Poet & Printer 1972), 23pp., ill. [by Brian Ferran; 20 cm];
  • An Exploded View [Gollancz Poets] (London: Gollancz 1973), 64pp.;
  • Fishing in the Sky: Love Poems (Woodford Green [Essex]Poet & Printer Press 1975), 24pp.
  • Man Lying on a Wall [Gollancz Poets] (London: Gollancz 1976), 48pp.;
  • The Echo Gate: Poems 1975-79 (London: Secker & Warburg 1979), 53pp. [ incl. “Wreaths” with sects. ‘The Civil Servant’, ‘The Greengrocer’ and ‘The Linen Workers’];
  • Patchwork (Dublin: Gallery Press 1981), [24]pp., ill. [[drawings by Jim Allen; 21 cm.]
  • with Seamus Heaney, An Upstairs Outlook: An Evening of Poetry ([Belfast]: Printed by W. G. Baird [1989]), [8]pp. [21 cm.; 3 poems by each]; ‘Commemorative programme published in aid of the Linen Hall Library Development campaign ... Thursday, 4th May 1989 at the Elmwood Hall, University Road, Belfast.’]
  • Gorse Fires (London: Secker & Warburg 1991; Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest UP 1991), 51pp.;
  • Baucis & Philemon, after Ovid[’s Metamorphoses] (Hatch End : Poet & Printer 1993), [16]pp., ill. [drawings by James Allen];
  • Birds and Flowers [A Morning Star folio; Fifth series, 5/1] (Edinburgh: Morning Star Publications 1994), 1 folded sheet [cover design by Alec Finlay; in envelope 18x26 cm.; water in form of ghost orchid from from a drawing by Gary Hincks; 300 copies of which 26 signed and lettered by author];
  • The Ghost Orchid (London: Jonathan Cape 1995; Wake Forest 1996), 63pp. [incls. poems set in Sissinghurst, Japan, Buchenwald and Belfast];
  • The Ship of the Wind: Eight Poems [Poetry Ireland pamphlets, 1st ser.] (Dublin: Poetry Ireland 1997), ix[9]pp. [22 x 30 cm.];
  • Broken Dishes (Newry: Abbey Press 1998), 28pp. [Ltd. edn. of 1,000 pb. & 250 hb. copies];
  • Out of the Cold: Drawings and Poems for Christmas (Belfast: Abbey Press 1999), 64pp., ill. [by Sarah Longley];
  • The Weather in Japan (London: Jonathan Cape 2000), 64pp.;
  • Cenotaph of Snow: Sixty Poems about War (London: Enitharmon Press 2003), 50pp. [25 cm.; see details]
  • Snow Water (London: Jonathan Cape 2004), 74pp.
  • The Lake Without a Name: Poems of Mayo (Belfast: Blackstaff Press [2005]), 52pp., ill. [wood engravings by Jeffrey Morgan; 27 cm.; ltd. edn. - see details];
  • The Rope-makers: Fifty-six Love Poems (London: Enitharmon Press 2005), 49pp. : ill. [frontispiece by Sarah Longley; 25 cm.; 175 copies + 25 hors de commerce as 1-xxv; each signed by the author];
  • Wavelengths: Various Translations (London: Enitharmon 2009), 32pp., ill. [wood engravings by Jeffrey Morgan; 25 cm.; see details];
  • A Hundred Doors (London: Jonathan Cape 2011), 48pp.
  • The Stairwell (London: Jonathan Cape 2014), 69pp.
  • Sea-Asters (London:] Fine Press Poetry 2015), 12 poems by Longley, with ills. by Sarah Longley [see details].
  • Inglenook (London: Jonathan Cape 2016), qpp. [homage to Edna O’Brien]
  • Angel Hill [Cape Poetry] (London: Jonathan Cape 2017), qpp.
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Selected & collected edns
  • Selected Poems 1963-1980 (Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest UP 1981);
  • Poems 1963-1983 (Oldcastle, Co. Meath: Gallery Press 1984; Edinburgh: Salamander Press 1985; Harmondsworth Penguin 1985), 206pp.
  • Selected Poems (London: Jonathan Cape 1998) [contents];
  • Collected Poems (London: Jonathan Cape 2006), 368pp.
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Articles (sel.)
  • ‘A Misrepresented Poet’ [Louis MacNeice], The Dublin Magazine, 6, 1 (Spring 1967), pp.68-74;
  • ‘Colin Middleton’, in The Dublin Magazine (Autumn-Winter 1967), pp.40-43;
  • ‘Patrick Kavanagh’, in The Dublin Magazine, 7, 1 (Spring 1968), pp.9-10;
  • ‘The Neolithic Night, A Note on the Irishness of Louis MacNeice’ in Two Decades of Irish Writing, ed. Douglas Dunn (1975), pp.98-104;
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  • contrib. Room to Rhyme: An Anthology of Poems by Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley and of Ballads Collected by David Hammond (Belfast: Arts Council of Northern Ireland [1968]) [q.pp.].
  • ed., Causeway: The Arts in Ulster (NI Arts Council: Gill & Macmillan 1971) [contents];
  • ed., Over the Moon and Under the Stars: An Anthology of Children’s Poetry from Northern Ireland (NI Arts Council 1971), 51pp.;
  • note on Colin Middleton, in Brian O’Doherty, The Irish Imagination 1959-1971 [Rosc Exhib. Catalogue] (1971) [q.p.];
  • ed., Selected Poems of Louis MacNeice (London: Faber & Faber 1988);
  • also Fishing in the Sky, Love Poems (Woodford Green: Poet & Printer 1975), 24pp.;
  • ‘Perdix’ [poem], in Krino, ed. Gerald Dawe & Jonathan Williams [ ‘The State of Poetry’ special iss.] (Winter 1993), pp.33-34;
  • Tuppenny Stung, Autobiographical Chapters (Belfast: Lagan Press 1994), 82pp
  • ‘Blackthorn and Bonsai; or, A Little Brief Authority’, in Creativity and Its Contexts, ed. Chris Morash (Dublin: Lilliput Press 1995), pp.1-28;
  • ed., 20th-Century Irish Poems (London: Faber & Faber 2002), 134pp. [‘This anthology results from decades of random reading plus a recent deliberate trawl to discover more examples of what Robert Graves calls 'heart-rending sense', poems I would want to copy out in longhand or learn by heart or share with others in a book like this one’];
  • A Jovial Hullabaloo: Discovering Poetry [Ireland Chair Poetry Inaugural Lecture] (London: Enitharmon Press 2008), 25pp.
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Contribs. (sel.)
Longley’s poems appeared with others by Michael Hoffmann and Robin Robertson in Modern Penguin Poets [No. 13; ser. ed. Anthony Thwaite] ] (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1975; rep. 1998), vii, 144pp.; see also with Danny Abse & D. J. Enright, Penguin Modern Poets, No. 26 (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1975); 173pp.
  • “The Meteorite”, a poem, in Irish Times (23 Dec. 1995), Weekend, p.15, together with ‘Featherings’, a review of David Cabot’s Irish Birds;
  • “The Rabbit”, for Ciaran Carson, poem, in The Irish Times (26 Feb. 2000) [see extract];
  • “The Strangford Stone”, in Times Literary Supplement (26 July 2002), p.14 [extract];
  • “Pale Battalions” [Remembrance Day, 2004], in The Irish Times (13 Nov. 2004) [Weekend]) [extract];
  • “The Holly Bush (in memory of Dorothy Molloy)”, in Times Literary Supplement (26 Nov. 2004), p.3 [see under Molloy, infra].
  • ‘Two Boats: Remembering Seamus Heaney’, in The Irish Times (7 Sept. 2013) - as attached.

Note: the foregoing given in C. Cullen, Bibliography, at on Teachnet.ie [online; accessed 19.10.2010.]

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  • Words Alone, Michael Longley and Derek Mahon Reading Their Own Poems (Belfast: Outlet Recordings 1968);
  • The Poetry Quartets, 4 (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe 1999) [double cassette of Durcan, Kennelly, Longley, McGuckian talking about their poetry].

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Bibliographical Details
Causeway: The Arts in Ulster
, ed., Michael Longley (NI Arts Council: Gill & Macmillan 1971), designed by Ralph Dobson; cover ‘Mourne Landscape’ by Colin Middleton. Contents: Longley, Introduction [7]; C. E. B. Brett, The Architectural Heritage [11]; Robert McKinstry, Contemporary Architecture [27]; Kenneth Kamison, Painting and sculpture [43]; John Cronin, Prose [71]; Sam Hanna Bell, Theatre [83]; Longley, Poetry [95]; Seán Ó Baoill, Irish Traditional Music [118]; Solly Lipsitz, jazz [131]; E. W. J. Boucher, Classical Music [138]; George Thompson, The Ulster Folk Museum [153]; The Modes (app. to Irish Trad. Music) [171]; Discography [176]; Notes on Contributors [178]; Acknowledgements [1181].

The Lake Without a Name: Poems of Mayo (Belfast: Blackstaff Press [2005]), 52pp., ill. [wood engravings by Jeffrey Morgan; 27 cm.; ltd. edn. of 275 copies]. This special edition brings together for the first time the best of Michael’s Mayo poems and reflects the intricacies of his thirty-year love affair with the Mayo landscape and, more particularly, with the townland of Carrigskeewaun, where he has been going with his family since 1970. The forty-nine poems in The Lake Without a Name are, to use Michael’s words from the preface to this edition, ‘consecrated by the right company’ - twenty-eight beautifully crafted wood engravings by artist and friend Jeffrey Morgan. The Lake Without a Name is the fruit of an enduring friendship between poet and artist. The book represents a unique collaboration between two extraordinary craftsmen. This fine press limited edition of The Lake Without a Name consists of 275 signed and numbered copies. It is set in 11/15 Garamond and is printed on 170gsm mould-made Zerkall paper with a deckle edge. The wood engravings - 8 large and 20 of assorted sizes - were fashioned on endgrain boxwood that was supplied by blockmaker Chris Daunt of Gateshead. The edition is printed letterpress at Libanus Press, Marlborough, in Wiltshire, and is bound at the Fine Bindery, Wellingborough. It is sewn and quarter-bound with Fabriano Ingres boards and Ratchford Colarado Liffey cloth with matching head and tail bands and matching endpapers. The front board is blocked with a wood engraving. The edition is presented in a lined slipcase with a bow edge. The first seventy-five copies of the book contain a signed and numbered four-page insert with a specially commissioned poem by Michael and an additional wood engraving by Jeffrey, which is unique to this limited edition. These seventy-five copies have a special quarter-binding of Harmatan goat leather. (See COPAC - online; accessed 23.01.2015.)

Wavelengths: Various Translations (London: Enitharmon 2009), 32pp. - a companion volume to his previous Enitharmon chapbooks Cenotaph of Snow (2003) and The Rope-Makers (2005), printed at The Stonehouse Fine Press (letter press); contains a selection of the translations which Longley describes as ‘fundamental to my imaginative development - versions mainly from Latin and Greek - which reflect my preoccupations and feel to me like my own poems’; includes translations of two Greek lyrics dating from 1962, versions after the love elegies of Sextus Propertius, and versions from the Romanian poet Marin Sorescu, the Dutch poets Hendrik Marsman and Ida Gerhardt, and a poem in French by the Welsh painter Gwen John.

Cenotaph of Snow: Sixty Poems about War (London: Enitharmon Press 2003), 50pp. Longley writes: ‘These are poems about war, not war poems. You have to be a war poet to write war poems. I am a non-combatant drawn to the subject of war for a number of reasons, including: 1) my father fought in the First World War, was decorated for bravery and - an old-fashioned patriot - joined up again in 1939; 2) my native Ulster has been disfigured for thirty years by fratricidal violence; 3) I revere the poets of 1914-1918 (Owen, Rosenberg, Sassoon, Sorley, Blunden, Thomas, Jones) and their successors of 1939-1945 (Douglas, Lewis); 4) in my forties I rediscovered Homer, first the Odyssey and then the Iliad which is the most powerful of all war poems as well as being the greatest poem about death. My versions of passages from Homer have allowed me to say things that I might not otherwise have been able to articulate. These, then, are the preoccupations behind Cenotaph of Snow.’

Selected Poems (London: Jonathan Cape 1998), 130pp. [ded. Eamon Hughes and Bob Purdie]. CONTENTS: from No Continuing City (1963-68): “Epithalamion” [1]; “No Continuing City” [4]; “Circe” [7]; “Persephone” [8]; “Nausicaa” [8]; “Narcissus” [8]; “A Personal Statement, for Seamus Heaney” [9]; “Freeze-up” [12]; “The osprey” [13]; “The Hebrides”, , for Eavan Boland [14]; “In Memoriam” [18]; “Elegy for Fats Waller”, for Solly Lipsitz [20]; “Homage to Dr Johnson”, for Philip Hobsbaum [21]; “Leaving Inishmore” [22]; “Journey out of Essex, or John Clare’s Escape out of the Madhouse” [23]. From An Exploded View (1968-72): Caravan” [24]; “Swans Mating” [25]; “Galapagos” [25]; “The Corner of the Eye: Kingfisher ” [26]; “Wren; Dipper; Robin” [27]; “Badger, for Raymond Piper” [28]; “Casualty” [30]; “Readings, for Peter Longley” [31]; “Letter to Derek Mahon” [32]; “Letter to Searnus Heaney” [34]; “Wounds” [36]; “In Memory of Gerard Dillon” [37]; “The West” [38]; “Skara Brae, for Sheila and Denis Smyth” [39]; “Ghost Town” [40]; “Three Posthumous Pieces” [41]; “Alibis” [42]; “Options”, for Michael Allen [44]. From Man Lying on a Wall (1972-75): “In Mayo” [46]; “Flora” [48]; “Landscape” [49]; “Points of the Compass”, for John Hewitt [50]; “Halcyon” [52]; “Master of Ceremonies” [53]; “Edward Thomas’s War Diary, 1 Jan.-8 April 1917” [54]; “Fleance” [55]; “Company” [56]; “Man Lying on a Wall, Homage to L. S. Lowry” [58]. From The Echo Gate (1975-79): Obsequies” [59]; “Wreaths: The Civil Servant; The Greengrocer” [60], The Linen Workers” [61]; “Second Sight” [62]; “Ash Keys” [63]; “Spring Tide” [64]; “Frozen Rain” [66]; “Thaw” [66]; Mayo Monologues: “Brothers” [67]; “Self-heal” [68]; “Bog Cotton” [69]; “The War Poets” [70]; “Peace, after Tibullus” [71]; “Sulpicia” [74]; “Grace Darling” [75]; “On Mweelrea” [76]; “The Linen Industry” [77]; “Self-portrait” [78]. From New Poems (1979-84): “Patchwork” [79]; “Maggie Moore’s” [80]; “Love Poet” [81]; “Hallowe’en” [81]; “On Slieve Gullion, for Douglas Carson” [82]; “Smoke in the Branches: The Disfigurement of Fergus; The Grey of Macha; The Bewilderment of Muircertach; The Death of Mac Glas” [83]; “Markings, for Sarah” [84]; “The White Butterfly” [85]. From Gorse Fires (1984-90): Sea Shanty” [86]; “Between Hovers” [87]; “Detour” [88]; “Gorse Fires” [89]; “Remembering Carrigskeewaun” [90]; “Homecoming” [91]; “An Amish Rug” [92]; “Couchette” [93]; “Laertes” [94]; “Anticleia” [95]; “Terezín” [96]; “Ghetto” [97]; “Argos” [100]; “The Butchers” [101]; “The Ice-cream Man” [102]; “Ponies” [103]. From The Ghost Orchid (1990-94): “Form” [104]; “Autumn Lady’s Tresses” [105]; “Watercolour, for Geoffrey Morgan” [106]; “Gretta Bowen’s Emendations” [106]; “According to Pythagoras” [107]; “Spiderwoman” [108]; “A Flowering” [109]; “Mr 10½, after Robert Mapplethorpe” [110]; “Massive Lovers, after Katsushika Hokusai” [110]; “A Grain of Rice” [111]; “Chinese Objects” [112]; “The Scissors Ceremony” [113]; “Snow-hole” [114]; “The Eel-trap” [114]; “Phoenix” [115]; “The Campfires 116]; “The Helmet” [117]; “Poppies” [117]; “Ceasefire” [118]; “Phernios & Medon” [119]; “The Fishing Party” [120]; “Birdsong” [121]; “Headstone” [122]; “The White Garden” [123]; “The Ghost Orchid” [123]; “Chinese Occasions” [124]; “River & Fountain” [125]; “Snow Bunting, for Sarah” [128]; “The Oar” [129]; “Out There” [130]. Acknowledgements [132].

[ See COPAC record - online; accessed 23.01.2015. ]

Sea-Asters ({London:] Fine Press Poetry 2015), 12 poems by Longley, with matching pen & ink ills. by Sarah Longley [the poet’s daughter]; of which three poems appeared in The Stairwell (Cape); designed and printed by John Grice, Evergreen Press, Gloucestershire; printed from Centaur 16 pt. type on Zerkall paper and bound at the Fine Book Bindery, Wellingborough, England; standard edition, 75 numbered and copies, signed by both Michael and Sarah Longley - £95; deluxe edition housed in a slipcase; 26 copies lettered A to Z, likewise signed - £140 presentation edition, leather-bound and housed in a Solander box; 5 copies numbered I to V, likewise signed - £500. [incls “The Thistle - in memory of Bob Purdey”] Note: Published May 2015 while Longley’s “The Dipper’s Range” was published by Fine Press Poetry in October 2016. The publisher is Andrew Moorhouse of Fine Poetry Press, Rochdale, England; there is a website at www.finepresspoetry.com [accessed 05.08.2017].

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  • Alan J. Peacock, ed., The Poetry of Michael Longley (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 2001) [see extract];
  • Fran Brearton, Reading Michael Longley (Tarset: Bloodaxe Press 2006), 265pp. [see note, infra];
  • Robin Robertson, ed., Love Poet, Carpenter: Michael Longley at Seventy (London: Enitharmon Press 2009), 125pp., ill. [see details].

See also April Elizabeth Warman, Modern poetry's Relation to the Dead (DPhil. Oxon 2007), 314pp. [i.e., lvs.; deals with Geoffrey Hill; Longley, Paul Muldoon; supervised by Bernard O'Donoghue].

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Articles & chapters
  • Michael Allen, ‘Options: The Poetry of Michael Longley’, in Éire-Ireland (Winter 1975), pp.129-36;
  • D. E. S. Maxwell, ‘Contemporary Poetry in the North of Ireland’, in Two Decades of Irish Writing, ed. Douglas Dunn (Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire: Carcanet; Chester Springs, PA: Dufour 1975), pp.166-85;
  • D. E. S. Maxwell, ‘Contemporary Poetry in Northern Ireland’, in Douglas Dunn, ed., Two Decades of Irish Writing (Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire: Carcanet 1975), pp.166-85 [remarks on Longley, pp.175-79];
  • Terence Brown, ‘Four New Voices of the Present’, in Northern Voices (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1975), pp.171-213;
  • Gerald Dawe, ‘“Icon and Lares”, Derek Mahon and Michael Longley’, in Dawe & Edna Longley, eds., Across the Roaring Hill: The Protestant Imagination in Modern Ireland (Belfast: Blackstaff 1985), pp.218-35 [rep. in Dawe, Against Piety: Essays in Irish Poetry, Belfast: Lagan Press 1995, pp.153-68];
  • Neil Corcoran, ‘Last Words: Michael Longley’s Elegies’ in Poetry Wales, 24, 2 (1989), pp.16-18;
  • Brian McIlroy, ‘Poetic Imagery as Political Fetishism: The Example of Michael Longley’, in Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 16, 1 (July 1990), pp.59-64;
  • Peter McDonald, ‘Michael Longley’s Homes’, in Neil Corcoran, ed., The Chosen Ground (Bridgend, Wales: Seren Books; PA: Chester Springs Dufour 1992), pp.65-81 [see extract];
  • Michael Allen, Michael Longley [Contemporary Writers] [Book Trust in conjunction with the British Council 1993), 1 folded sheet [8]pp.; 1 port.; 21 cm.];
  • Eileen Battersby, ‘The Future is Behind Us’, interview with Michael Longley, in Books Ireland (Summer 1995), p.5.
  • Seamus Heaney, ‘Place and Displacement: Recent Poetry of Northern Ireland’ [Laver Lecture, Grasmere] (1984); rep. in Elmer Andrews, ed., Contemporary Irish Poetry (1996): pp.124-44 [see extract];
  • Michael Allen, ‘Rhythm and Development in Michael Longley’s Earlier Poetry’, in Elmer Andrews, ed., Contemporary Irish Poetry: A Collection of Critical Essays (London: Macmillan 1996), pp.214-34;
  • Peter McDonald, ‘Michael Longley’s Homes’ [Chap.], in Mistaken Identities: Poetry and Northern Ireland (OUP 1997), pp. 110-43;
  • Véronique Alexandre, ‘La Place de la Mort et du moir dans l’oeuvre récente de Michael Longley’, in Études Irlandaises (Printemps 1997), pp.101-20;
  • Brian John, ‘The Achievement of Michael Longley’s The Ghost Orchid’, Irish University Review, ‘Literature, Criticism, & Theory’ (Spring/Summer 1997), pp.139-51;
  • Philip Hobsbaum, ‘The Belfast Group: A Recollection’, Éire-Ireland 32, 2&3 (Summer/Autumn 1997), pp.173-82;
  • Eamon Grennan, ‘Opening the Field: Michael Longley’s Gorse Fires’, in Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the Twentieth Century (Creighton UP 1999), p.273ff.];
  • Neil Corcoran, ‘To Stop the bleeding: the poetry of botany and Michael Longley’, in Poets of Modern Ireland: Text, Context, Intertext (Wales UP 1999), pp.157-76.
  • Eileen Battersby, ‘Observing the Sons of Ulster’ [interview-article], in The Irish Times (Thurs. 9 March 2000), p.13 [see extract].
  • Peter McDonald, ‘Faiths and Fidelities: Heaney and Longley in Mid-Career’ in Last Before America: Irish and American Writing: Essays in Honour of Michael Allen , ed. Fran Brearton & Eamonn Hughes (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 2001), pp.3-15.
  • Ruth Ling, ‘The Double Design of Michael Longley’s Recent Elegies: The Ghost Orchid and Broken Dishes’, in Irish Studies Review (April 2002), pp.39-50 [see extract];
  • Mitsuko Ohno, ‘Hokusai, Basho, Zen and More: Japanese Influences on Irish Poets’, in Journal of Irish Studies (IASIL-Japan), XVII (2002), pp.15-31, and pp.22-23 [questionnaire-response];
    Richard Rankin Russell, ‘Inscribing Cultural Corridors: Michael Longley’s Contribution to Reconciliation in Northern Ireland’, in Colby Quarterly, 39, 3, Sept. 2003, p.221-40 [available online; accessed 24.03.2017.]
  • Terence Brown, ‘Mahon and Longley: Place and Placelessness’, in The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, ed. Matthew Campbell (Cambridge UP 2003), pp.133-48;
  • Robert McCrum, ‘As English as Irish Can Be’ [interview]. Observer (28 Oct. 2006), Review sect., p.22 [see extract];
  • Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, ‘ Michael Longley’s Ecopoetics’, in Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland, 1968-2008 (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer 2008), pp.137-54;
  • Fran Brearton ‘“Wounds” by Michael Longley’, in Irish University Review: A Journal of Irish Studies [Special Irish Poetry Issue, guest ed. Peter Denman] (Sept. 2009) [see extract];
  • Richard Rankin Russell, Poetry & Peace: Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, and Northern Ireland (Notre Dame UP 2010), xiv, 389pp. [see contents].
  • Joanne Savage, interview with Michael Longley, at Culture Northern Ireland [online; accessed 02.07.2011];
  • Theo Dorgan, ‘Giving thanks for small things’, review of A Hundred Doors, in The Irish Times (19 March 2011), Weekend, p.13. [see extract].
  • [...]
[ See extracts from these and others under Commentary - infra. ]
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See also ...
  • Fran Brearton, The Great War in Irish Poetry: W. B. Yeats to Michael Longley (Oxford: OUP 2000), 315pp. [Durham PhD 1998];
  • Fran Brearton & Eamonn Hughes, eds., Last Before America: Irish and American Writing: Essays in Honour of Michael Allen (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 2001) [incls. Peter McDonald, ‘Faiths and Fidelities: Heaney and Longley in Mid-Career’ [ pp.3-15], and Adrienne Janus, ‘Mnemosyne and the Mislaid Pen: The Poetics of Memory in Heaney, Longley and McGuckian’ [pp.54-68], et al.;
  • Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland, 1968-2008 (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer 2008), xii, 306pp. [q. chap.];

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  • Brendan Kennelly, review of Ten Poems in Dublin Magazine (Spring 1966), [q.p.];
  • Derek Mahon, review of Poems 1963-83, in The Literary Review (1985) [see extract], rep. in Journalism: Selected Prose 1970-1995 (Dublin: Gallery Press 1996), pp.98-101;
  • Hayden Murphy, ‘Grace under Pressure’, review of Poems 1963-1983 by Michael Longley, Scotsman (27 April 1985) [q.p.].
  • John Banville, “A Poet in Prose” [review of Tuppenny Stung] in The Irish Times, ‘Weekend’ (30 July 1994), p.8;
  • Neil Corcoran, ‘Ovid in Ulster’, review of The Ghost Orchid, in Times Literary Supplement (7 July 1995), p.13 [extract];
  • Michael Parker, review of The Ghost Orchid, in Irish Studies Review (Spring 1996), pp.50-52 [see extract];
  • Peter McDonald, review of Selected Poems in “Poetry Now” [column], The Irish Times (24 Oct. 1998) [see extract];
  • Gerald Dawe, ‘Bring It All Back Home’, review of Selected Poems and Broken Dishes [along with Sampson’s biography of Brain Moore], in Fortnight (Jan. 1999), pp.128-29 [see extract];
  • Tim Kendall, ‘Even here in Hades’, review of Selected Poems, in Times Literary Supplement (8 Jan. 1999) [see extract];
  • Stephen Knight, ‘Swaddled in White Silence’ , review of The Weather in Japan, in Irish Literary Supplement (7 April 2000) [see extract];
  • Peter McDonald, review of Fran Brearton, The Great War in Irish Poetry, in Times Literary Supplement (15 Sept. 2000) [see extract];
  • Sean Lysaght, ‘Working his Craft’, review of The Weather in Japan, in The Irish Times (11 March 2000), Weekend, p.9 [see extract];
  • Peter McDonald, ‘Cold comfort’ review of Snow Water, in The Guardian (22, May 2004) [see extract];
  • John Burnside, ‘ Recovering civilisation’, review of Collected Poems, in The Irish Times (7 Oct. 2006), Weekend [see extract].
  • Catriona O’Reilly, review of Michael Longley, Collected Poems, in Times Literary Supplement (16 March 2007), p.10 [see extract];
  • Peggy Hughes, review of A Hundred Doors, in The Scotsman (22 February 2011) [available online; accessed 02.07.2011].
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  • Serge Fauchereau, interview with Michael Longley, Les Lettres Nouvelles (March 1973) [see extract];
  • Fintan O’Toole, [interview with Michael Longley,] in The Sunday Tribune (17 March 1985);
  • Robert Johnstone, ‘The Longley Tapes’ [interview], Honest Ulsterman, 78 (Summer 1985), pp.13-31;
  • Dillon Johnston, interview with Michael Longley, Irish Literary Supplement (Fall 1986), p.21;
  • Clive Wilmer [interview with Michael Longley,] in Poets Talking[BC Radio 3] (Carcanet Press 1994);
  • Pat Boran interviews Michael Longley, in Books Ireland (Summer 1995), p.147-48 [with photo port.];
  • Fran Brearton, ‘“Walking forwards into the past”: an interview with Michael Longley’, in Irish Studies Review, 18 (Spring 1997), pp.35-39;
  • Andy O’Mahony (RTE Radio 1998);
  • Sarah Broom, in Metre, 4 (Spring/Summer 1998);
  • Theo Dorgan [interview with Michael Longley,] on Imprint (RTE TV 2000);
  • John Brown, ed., In the Chair; Interviews with Poets from the North of Ireland (Salmon Poetry 2002) [q.pp.];
  • Jody Allen Randolph [interview with Michael Longley], in Poetry Ireland Review, 79 (May 2004);
  • Nicholas Wroe, ‘Middle Man’ [interview-feature], in Guardian [Suppl.] (21 Aug. 2004), pp.12-14 [see extract];
  • Robert McCrum, ‘As English as Irish Can Be’ [interview with Michael Longley], in The Observer (29 Oct. Oct. 2006) [see extract];
  • ‘Musarum Sacerdos: An Interview With Michael Longley’, in The Poetry Review (Winter 2006/2007), pp.61-64 [available online; accessed 28.08.2011];
  • Eileen Battersby, ‘I wish I could appear more tormented, more Byronic’, in The Irish Times (27 March 2010) [see extract].
  • Kate Kellaway, review of A Hundred Doors, in The Observer (20 March 2011) [see extract].
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Bibliographical details

Alan J. Peacock & Kathleen Devine, eds., The Poetry of Michael Longley [Univ. of Ulster Symposia, 1996] (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smyth (2001), xxi, 191pp., ill. [8pp. of pls. + ports.], 23 cm. Alan J. Peacock, intro.; contribs. Terence Brown, ‘Michael Longley and the Irish poetic tradition’; Douglas Dunn, ‘Longley’s metric’; Peter McDonald, ‘Lapsed classics: Homer, Ovid, and Michael Longley’s poetry’; Robert Welch, ‘Michael Longley and the West’; Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, ‘Conflict, violence and the fundamental interrelatedness of all things in the poetry of Michael Longley’; Neil Corcoran, ‘My botanical studies: the poetry of natural history in Michael Longley’; Michael Allen, ‘Longley’s long line: looking back from The ghost orchid’; Peacock; ‘“How do you sew the night”: The weather in Japan’; Michael Longley, “Etruria” [a poem]. [Kennys Ireland Cat. 2004; original cloth €45.30]

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Robin Robertson, ed., Love Poet, Carpenter: Michael Longley at Seventy (London: Enitharmon Press 2009), 125pp., ill. [ports.], 24cm. Contributions [60 writers]: Fleur Adcock, Michael Allen, Simon Armitage, John Banville, Sebastian Barry, Fran Brearton, John Burnside, David Cabot, Ciaran Carson, Douglas Carson, Gillian Clarke, Patricia Craig, Robert Crawford, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Gerald Dawe, Greg Delanty, Eamon Duffy, Ian Duhig, Douglas Dunn, Paul Durcan, Paul Farley, James Fenton, Leontia Flynn, Alan Gillis, Eamon Grennan, Donald Hall, Kerry Hardie, Dermot Healy, Seamus Heaney, Kathleen Jamie, Dillon Johnston, Robert Johnstone, Fergal Keane, Brendan Kennelly, Nick Laird, Sarah Longley [dg.], Tom MacIntyre, Thomas McCarthy, Peter McDonald, Medbh McGuckian, Derek Mahon, John Montague, Jeffrey Morgan, Sinead Morrissey, Andrew Motion, Paul Muldoon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Bernard O’Donoghue, Dennis O’Driscoll, Sharon Olds, Caitriona O’Reilly, Frank Ormsby, Don Paterson, Glenn Patterson, Justin Quinn, Piotr Sommer, Anne Tannahill, Adam Thorpe, Anthony Thwaite, Michael Viney, David Wheatley. Each has signed in ink on four end-pages. festschrift at Longley’s seventieth birthday, July 2009; signed ltd. edn; with b&w chalk port. of Michael Longley by Jeffrey Morgan on front cover; bound by The Fine Book Bindery in Dubletta mid-blue cloth and housed in a cloth-bound slipcase; de luxe edition of 195 copies of which 100 were sale. [See COPAC online; accessed 19.10.210.]

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Richard Rankin Russell, Poetry & Peace: Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, and Northern Ireland (Notre Dame UP 2010), xiv, 389pp. CONTENTS: Introduction: Northern Irish poetry, imagination, and ethics; 1. Laying the foundations: the Belfast Group and Michael Longley’s conciliatory cultural work; 2. Lighting out for the unknown territory: Longley’s No continuing city; 3. Longley’s poetry of war and peace; 4. Fragility and ceremony: Longley’s pastorals, holocaust elegies and Asian miniatures; 5. ‘To make myself an echo chamber’: Seamus Heaney’s auditory imagination; 6. The road to Derry, Wintering out and North: Northern dialects, Northern violence; 7. Field work through The haw lantern: burrowing inward, looking outward; 8. Redressing reality: seeing things through district and circle; 9. Coda: poetry and the Northern Irish peace process.

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See infra

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See infra.

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Blake Morrison
& Andrew Motion, eds., The Penguin Bo ok of Contemporary British Poetry (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1982), contains ‘Wounds’, ‘Second Sight’, ‘The Linen Workers’, ‘Swans Mating’, ‘Love Poem’, ‘Mayo Monologues [‘Brothers’, ‘Housekeeper’, ‘Self-heal’, ‘Arrest’] (pp.811-86.)

Poems on the Teachnet.ie > C. Kelly’s Longley Page
“Badger” - “Wounds” - “Poteen” - “Carrigskeewaun” - “Wreaths” - “Last
Requests” - “Self-heal” - “An Amish Rug” - “Laertes” - “Ceasefire”.
—[online; accessed 19.10.2010; unavailable at 23.11.2012.]

Frank Ormsby, ed., Northern Windows: An Anthology of Ulster Autobiography (Belfast: Blackstaff 1987), selects ‘Tu’penny Stung’, from Poetry Review, Vol. 74 (January 1985), here pp.195-206.

Peter Fallon & Seán Golden, eds., Soft Day: A Miscellany of Contemporary Irish Writing (Dublin: Wolfhound Press; Notre Dame 1980), selects ‘In Mayo’; ‘The Goose’; ‘Ars Poetica’.

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Andrew Carpenter & Peter Fallon, eds., The Writers: A Sense of Place (Dublin: O’Brien Press 1980), Four poems, ‘The White Butterfly’; ‘The Third Light’; ‘Ogham Stone’, i.m. Seán Ó Baoill; ‘Communications’, in with photo-port., pp.108-10.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3, selects An Exploded View; Man Lying on a Wall; The Echo Gate [1375-77]; 1433, BIOG [supra].

Patrick Crotty, ed., Modern Irish Poetry: An Anthology (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1995), selects “In Memoriam” [220]; “Caravan” [222]; “Wounds” [223]; “Ghost Town” [224]; “Man Lying on a Wall” [225]; “Wreaths: The Civil Servant [225]; The Greengrocer [226]; The Linen Workers” [226]; from “Mayo Monologues”, “Self-heal” [227]; “The Linen Industry” [227]; “Between Hovers” [228]; Homeric Poems: “Laertes” [229], “Argos”, “The Butchers” [230], “Phemios & Medon” [231]; “River & Fountain” [231].

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Books in Print (1994), No Continuing City (London: Macmillan / Chester Springs, PA 1969); An Exploded View, Poems, 1968-1972 (London: Gollancz 1973) [0 575 01666 3]; Man Lying on a Wall, Poems 1972-1975 (London: Gollancz 1976) [0 575 02110 1]; The Echo Gate, Poems 1975-1979 (London: Secker & Warburg 1979) [0 43625 680 0]; Selected Poems 1963-1980 (N. Carolina: Wake Forest UP 1981; Secker & Warburg 1991, 1994) [0 436 25680 0]; Poems 1963-1983 (Edinburgh: Salamander Press; Dublin: Gallery Press 1984; Harmondsworth: Penguin 1985; Secker & Warburg; Gallery 1991) [0436 25676 2; 0 900597 45 3]; Gorse Fires (London: Secker & Warburg 1991, 1994) [0 43625 674 6]; Baucis and Philemon, after Ovid (London: J. Allen 1993) [0 900597 45 3].

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Longley Snr.'s official citation for the Military Cross (1918)

‘For: Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty / In leading the waves of his company in a raid / And being the first to enter both objectives / In spite of a severe shrapnel wound in the thigh. // After killing several of the enemy himself, / He directed the fire of his Lewis gunners / And rifle bombers on to a working party / Of over 100 of the enemy, and controlled/ The mopping-up of the enemy dugouts.’

—Rendered as verse by Longley; quoted in Kate Kellaway, review of A Hundred Doors, in The Observer (20 March 2011) [available online].

Dublin Magazine [1st issue] (Spring 1966) contains an early Longley poem, “Dr Johnson on the Hebrides” ending, ‘His downcast eyes, riding out the brainstorm, / His weatherproof enormous head at home.’ (p.37.) Note also Eavan Boland, ‘Shakepeare’, in same issue, which shares with the above the word sycophant in the first line (p.37)

Translators three: Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, and Paul Muldoon are three of the translators of Martin Soresci, The Biggest Egg in the World, ed. Edna Longley (Bloodaxe ?1992).

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Causeway Away!: Longley commenced with Board of Directors of Causeway, Cultural Relations Journal (No. 1, Autumn 1993), and resigned before the appearance of the second issue (Spring 1994) ‘having seen the magazine sagely launched and in secure hands’ [Tony Canavan, ed.]; the first issue of the journal appears contemporaneously under his name in Whitaker, &c.

No abiding city: The psalmist’s phrase ‘We have no abiding city here’ was employed by Thomas Kelly in Hymn No. 216 of the Church of Ireland Hymnal (1960, 1987), and thence provided the title for an early collection by Longley [var. 514 New Church of Ireland Hymnal.]

Sheugh: The last poem in Gorse Fires incl. terms sheugh, and ‘bog asphodel’; on the former, see Ciaran Carson mocking usage in Causeway (Spring 1996); on the latter, see the following from Louis MacNeice’s The Strings are False: ‘If I had one foot posed over untrodden asphodel, the other was still clamped to the ankle in the bogs’.

War as Memory: his Longley's poem “Wounds” provides the basis of a discussion in the final chapter of Paul Fussell’s The Great War and Modern Memory (1975) where it is taken to exemplify the war as ‘an archetype for subsequent violence - as well as a criticism of it’ (p.324; see ).

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“‘Mick Magennis, VC”: “Ocean”, a homage to James (“Mick”) Magennis, VC, was printed in The Irish Times (4 April 1998), appearing alongside a review of George Fleming, Magennis VC (224pp.), a biography of the4 Belfast-born Catholic who, after his heroic adventure sticking limpet mines to the Japanese cruiser “Takao”, returned to Belfast to be ignored by both sides of the community. Longley’s poem collates his achievement with Merce Cunningham’s dance-troupe performance “Ocean” at the Waterfront Hall.

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Ireland Chair of Poetry (Inaugural lecture, Spring 2008): Longley gave an inaugural lecture in the form of ‘an autobiography in poetry’ describing how he discovered poetry and celebrating some of the poems and poets who have mattered to him - from childhood memories of the King James Bible and the discovery of Keats, de la Mare, and Yeats onwards in his teens to living Irish writers such as Patrick Kavanagh and Louis MacNeice. His first attempts to write poetry (a ‘combination of hormonal commotion and aesthetic awakening’) led on to meetings with Derek Mahon and Seamus Heaney, their mutual encouragement and shared interests, and to a lasting enthusiasm for poetry, past and present. An edition of 150 copies was printed as chapbooks in Hahnemuhle Bugra Butten wrappers, being one of the last books printed by Sebastian Carter at his Rampant Lions letterpress before he retired in Dec. 2008. (See COPAC notice online; accessed 15.10.2010.)

100s of epiphanies: ‘At the unveilling of that threshold stone [of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast], fifteen months ago, Longley recalled his “decades of plays, hundred of epiphanies, thoughs of hours of fun and enlightenment’ at the Lyric.’ (See Jane Coyle, ‘A Dramatic Crucible Takes Shape’, in Irish Times, 8 Jan. 2011, Weekend, p.6; see further under Seamus Heaney, supra.)

TV: See RTÉ film on Michael Longley’s country in western Mayo, ‘Corner of the Eye’ (re-broadcast C4, 17 April 1993 at 7.00 p.m.)

T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry (£10,000) won my Michael Longley in 2001, in competition with Walcott, Thom Gunn, Anne Stephenson and Douglas Dunn.

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Joint Celebration: ‘Seamus Heaney and Micheal Longley: A Celebration with the Ulster Orchestra’ took place at at 8pm on Saturday, 17 Oct. 2011 at the Belfast Waterfront Hall as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's University. Seamus Heaney’s early poem “Personal Helicon” is dedicated to Longley.

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