Michael Longleywas born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1939. He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and studied Classics at Trinity College. Strongly influenced by the classics, he has alluded to his love of Homer in many of his poems. Early in his career, Longley worked as a schoolteacher in Dublin, London, and Belfast. He founded the literary program in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and in 1970 he became the assistant director of that organization. Holding honorary doctorates from Trinity College, Dublin, and Queen’s University, Belfast, Longley was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2001. In 2010, he was honored with the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of Aosdána, an affiliation for Irish artists. He is married to the critic Edna Longley and has three children.
Michael Longley has published ten collections of poetry, most recently Angel Hill (2017), which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. He has received numerous other awards for his work, including the American Irish Foundation Award, the T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize, the Whitbread Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the International Griffin Poetry Prize, and the Ulster Tatler Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. He served as the Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2007–2010, and was awarded the 2017 PEN Pinter Prize
This appearance is presented in partnership with Culture Ireland and the American Conference for Irish Studies.