Michael George Longley

Poet and writer

Born in Belfast, Longley was Professor of Poetry for Ireland (2007-10). He has published numerous collections including Gorse Fires (1991), winner of the Whitbread Prize, and The Weather in Japan (2000), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize. He was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (2001) and appointed a CBE in 2010.

Let flax be our matchmaker, our undertaker,
The provider of sheets for whatever the bed
From ‘The Linen Industry’ in Poems 1963-1983 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986)


I am travelling from one April to another.
It is the same train between the same embankments.
From ‘Gorse Fires’ (1991) in Selected Poems (London: Jonathan Cape, 1998)


Michael George Longley
by George Newson
bromide fibre print, July 1984
NPG x33550
© George Newson / Lebrecht Music & Arts