Michael Longley

Michael Longley

A 3/4 profile photo of Michael Longley in 1975

Copyright © 1975 Laurencine Lot. Used by permission of the photographer.

Michael Longley was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on July 27, 1939. He attended Malone Primary School and the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, before going on to Trinity College, Dublin, where he read Classics. After graduating with honors in 1963, he held a variety of teaching positions in Blackrock, Dublin, London, and Belfast. It was while teaching in Belfast that Longley first attended Philip Hobsbaum's informal gatherings of writers known simply as "the group." There he and other young writers-including Seamus Heaney, Arthur Terry, Jack Packenham, Harry Chambers-read their poems and short stories and helped to foster the work of a new generation of Irish writers. Longley published his first collection of poems, Ten Poems, in 1966, followed by Three Regional Voices (1967), Room to Rhyme (with Seamus Heaney and David Hammond, 1968), and Secret Marriages (1968). His first major collection of poems, No Continuing City: Poems 1963-1968, was published in 1969 by Macmillan. Since the 1960's Michael Longley has published numerous collections of poems, among them An Exploded View (1973), Man Lying on the Wall (1976), The Echo Gate (1979), Gorse Fires (1991) and The Ghost Orchid (1995). His Selected Poems, 1963 - 1980 was published in 1981, followed by a later selected edition, Poems, 1963 - 1983 in 1985. After his poetic silence of the 1980s, he published Gorse Fires in 1991 to critical acclaim, followed by The Ghost Orchid (1995), Selected Poems (1998), and The Weather in Japan (2000). Michael Longley has received numerous awards for his poetry including the Eric Gregory Award in 1965 and, more recently, the 1991 Whitbread Poetry Prize for Gorse Fires as well as the 2000 T.S. Eliot Prize for The Weather in Japan. He was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for poetry in 2001. He is a member of the Royal Society of Literature and of Aosdána. In addition to writing poetry, Longley has also edited collections of poems by Louis MacNeice and W.R. Rodgers, and from 1970 - 1991 he directed the literature programs of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 1994 Longley published a collection of autobiographical prose pieces under the title Tuppenny Stung. He is married to the critic Edna Longley and lives in Belfast. (Michael Longley papers, 1960-2000)

  • “Circe,” “The ornithological section,” “Orpheus,” “A personal statement,” “The Centaurs,” “The housewife’s testament,” “Christopher at birth,” no date, three pages.

    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

  • “Dr. Johnson on the Hebrides,” “Leaving Inishmore,” “Camouflage,” “Persephone,” “To Derek Mahon,” “A working holiday,” “Words for jazz perhaps,” no date, two pages.

    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

  • “In memoriam,” “Christopher at birth,” “Freeze-up,” “Saint Francis to the birds,” “Elegy for Fats Waller,” “Epithalamion,” “En route,” no date, three pages.

    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

  • “No continuing city,” “A slight adultery,” “The journey,” “To Edna,” “Her mime of the lame seagull,” “The Hebrides,” 22 Nov 1964, three pages.

    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

Force-directed ego graph of people, places, and organizations directly connected to Michael Longley.


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  • Aosdana VIAF - memberOf
  • Royal Society of Literature VIAF - memberOf
  • Trinity College, Dublin Wikipedia - alumniOf
  • Belfast Royal Academical Institution Wikipedia - alumniOf
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland. VIAF - affiliation
  • gatherings of writers known simply as "the group." VIAF - affiliation