Michael Longley

longleyfromwebMichael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939, and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Trinity College, Dublin, where he earned his degree in Classics. He worked as a schoolteacher in Dublin, London, and Belfast before joining the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, where he served over twenty years as Director for Literature and the Traditional Arts. He is married to the critic Edna Longley and has three children.

He has received numerous awards, including the American Irish Foundation Award, the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize, the Whitbread Prize, and the Hawthornden Prize. He is also the recipient of the prestigious 2001 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Mr. Longley has published over a dozen collections of poetry, beginning with No Continuing City(MacMillan) in 1969. He is published in the United States by Wake Forest University Press. Wake Forest has published American editions of Selected Poems 1963-1980 (1981), Poems 1963-1983 (1985), Gorse Fires (1991) winner of the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, The Ghost Orchid(1996), Selected Poems (1999), and The Weather in Japan (2000), which won The Irish Times Poetry Award, the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize, and the Hawthornden Prize. Wake Forest published Snow Water in 2004,  his Collected Poems in 2007, and his most recent volume, A Hundred Doors, in 2011.

“Longley’s poems count the phenomena of the natural world with the particular deliberate pleasure of a lover’s fingers wandering along the bumpy path of the vertebrae.” Seamus Heaney

2003 Colby Quarterly issue on Michael Longley

Books by Michael Longley

Michael Longley: Collected Poems (clothbound, ltd., signed edition) (USED)

“I can’t think of a living poet who writes such incredible sonnets. ... He travels with ease from the Iliad to his local fields. ... It’s hard to tell if he’s a poet of regular life who is good at stumbling upon depth, or a deep poet who knows that the quotidian is precious. And it’s not clear that it matters.” Laurel Maury, The Los Angeles Times  $25.00 - view details

Michael Longley: Selected Poems 1963-1983 (USED)

Michael Longley’s Poems 1963-1983 succeeds the popular Selected Poems, published by Wake Forest in 1981, which reviewers praised: “Longley’s compassionate perception of his modern world is deftly embodied in a lucid, restrained elegance. This is… $10.00 - view details

Michael Longley: Selected Poems 1963-1980 (USED)

(NOTE:  The cover of this book is plain white; image shown is the title page.) This book is officially out of print, and these plain covered volumes are the only ones available. “Direct, lucid, disciplined poems… $17.50 - view details

Michael Longley: The Stairwell

October 2014 CAPE: In The Stairwell, his tenth collection, Michael Longley’s themes and forms reach a new intensity. The second part of the book is a powerful sequence of elegies for his twin brother, Peter,… $14.95 - view details

Michael Longley: Collected Poems (USED)

“...a contemporary who should endure over the life of our language.” Donald Hall “War--what it does to combatants and to their children--becomes a preoccupation throughout Longley’s work. ... Yet marital love and tenderness, domestic calm and pastoral counterpoise also stand among Longley’s signature subjects. ... Longley’s genius is pastoral and commemorative. ...” Publishers Weekly (starred review)   $11.00 - view details

Michael Longley: A Hundred Doors (e-book available)

“A Hundred Doors” is a work of power, precision and delicacy: poems that “bend and magnify the daylight,” poems by master craftsman. *WINNER OF THE DLR POETRY NOW AWARD A Hundred Doors A Hundred Doors *Boston Globe: One… $12.95 - view details

Michael Longley: Collected Poems

“...a contemporary who should endure over the life of our language.” Donald Hall “War--what it does to combatants and to their children--becomes a preoccupation throughout Longley’s work. ... Yet marital love and tenderness, domestic calm and pastoral counterpoise also stand among Longley’s signature subjects. ... Longley’s genius is pastoral and commemorative. ...” Publishers Weekly (starred review)   $18.95 - view details

Michael Longley: Collected Poems (clothbound, ltd., signed edition)

“I can’t think of a living poet who writes such incredible sonnets. ... He travels with ease from the Iliad to his local fields. ... It’s hard to tell if he’s a poet of regular life who is good at stumbling upon depth, or a deep poet who knows that the quotidian is precious. And it’s not clear that it matters.” Laurel Maury, The Los Angeles Times  $50.00 - view details

Michael Longley: Snow Water (clothbound, ltd. edition)

“Snow Water marks a decisive moment in Longley’s poetic development — as decisive, perhaps as that signalled by Gorse Fires.… Longley’s war poetry can stand comparison with the best of its century; and Snow Wateradds to the… $50.00 - view details

Michael Longley: The Weather in Japan (USED)

Winner of the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Poetry, 2001 Winner of the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize, 2001 Winner of the Hawthornden Prize, 2000  "Michael Longley's The Weather in Japan is the best book I have read this year and, although I have admired him for some time, I did not expect him to surpass himself.... Brilliant, and taking me back to earlier brilliance, [it] shocked me into understanding that the poet I had admired had quietly become — along with Seamus Heaney, say, and Geoffrey Hill — a contemporary who should endure over the life of our language." Donald Hall, Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review $4.00 - view details

Michael Longley: The Weather in Japan

Winner of the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Poetry, 2001 Winner of the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize, 2001 Winner of the Hawthornden Prize, 2000  "Michael Longley's The Weather in Japan is the best book I have read this year and, although I have admired him for some time, I did not expect him to surpass himself.... Brilliant, and taking me back to earlier brilliance, [it] shocked me into understanding that the poet I had admired had quietly become — along with Seamus Heaney, say, and Geoffrey Hill — a contemporary who should endure over the life of our language." Donald Hall, Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review $9.95 - view details

Michael Longley: The Weather in Japan (clothbound)

Winner of the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Poetry, 2001 Winner of the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize, 2001 Winner of the Hawthornden Prize, 2000  "Michael Longley's The Weather in Japan is the best book I have read this year and, although I have admired him for some time, I did not expect him to surpass himself.... Brilliant, and taking me back to earlier brilliance, [it] shocked me into understanding that the poet I had admired had quietly become — along with Seamus Heaney, say, and Geoffrey Hill — a contemporary who should endure over the life of our language." Donald Hall, Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review   $18.95 - view details

Michael Longley: Selected Poems

“Longley has all the necessary gifts – precision, the celebrant’s tongue, and that touch of mystery that sets certain poets apart.” — George Mackey Brown “His measured rhythms, skilfully crafted metaphors and elaborate syntax always insist on poetry’s origins in ceremony, its powers to commemorate and dignify.” — Mark Ford “A keeper of the artistic estate, a custodian of griefs and wonders.” — Seamus Heaney $12.95 - view details

Michael Longley: Selected Poems (clothbound)

“Longley has all the necessary gifts – precision, the celebrant’s tongue, and that touch of mystery that sets certain poets apart.” — George Mackey Brown “His measured rhythms, skilfully crafted metaphors and elaborate syntax always insist on poetry’s origins in ceremony, its powers to commemorate and dignify.” — Mark Ford “A keeper of the artistic estate, a custodian of griefs and wonders.” — Seamus Heaney $20.95 - view details

Michael Longley: The Ghost Orchid

"Longley's wittiest book to date.… The Ghost Orchid is as distinguished and memorable a collection as any published in our times." David Wheatley, Irish Review $9.95 - view details

Michael Longley: Gorse Fires (USED)

3 copies Very Good Condition: some bending After a 12-year publishing silence, Longley’s 1991 return, Gorse Fires, won the Whitbread Poetry Prize. Gorse Fires is an unusual artistic blend: darkly austere, yet abundant in images, catalogues and… $10.00 - view details

Michael Longley: Selected Poems 1963-1980

(NOTE:  The cover of this book is plain white; image shown is the title page.) This book is officially out of print, and these plain covered volumes are the only ones available. “Direct, lucid, disciplined poems… $35.00 - view details