Michael Longley is one of Northern Ireland's foremost contemporary poets. His debut collection, 'No Continuing City', was published to acclaim in 1969 and since then he has published many more collections of verse, including 'Gorse Fires', which won the Whitbread Prize, and 'The Weather in Japan', which won the T.S. Eliot prize and the Hawthornden Prize.His major themes are war, nature and love. Perhaps his best-known poem is 'Ceasefire', which, like many of his poems was inspired by The Iliad and was first published in the Irish Times in 1994 thr week the ceasefire was announced. Michael lives in Belfast, but spends much of his time in Carrigskeewaun, which provides the backdrop for many of his nature poems. But for Michael, the love poem is the most important. If poetry is a wheel, as he says 'The hub of the wheel is love'Ian visits Michael at home in Belfast for a conversation that ranges over a career in poetry that spans over 50 years. Michael published 'The Candlelight Master' in 2020 and later this year will see publication of his latest collection 'The Slain Birds'. Together they talk about form, trees, writers block, the passing of time and the joy of grandchildren.Presenter: Ian McMillanProducer: Jessica Treen
Northern Irish Voices: Michael Longley in conversation with Anne Morrison
Michael Longley discusses his most recent publication, The Candlelight Master (2020), in conversation with Anne Morrison. About Michael Longley: born in Belfast, Michael Longley, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of 12 collections of poetry, has been a central figure in the poetry of Northern Ireland since the 1960s. From his first collection, No Continuing City: Poems 1963-1968 (1969) to his most recent publication, The Candlelight Master (2020), he has received numerous awards for his work. These include the Whitbread Poetry Prize (1991), the American Ireland Fund Literary Award (1996), the T.S. Eliot Prize (2000), the Hawthornden Prize (2000), the Wilfred Owen Award (2003), the Irish Times Poetry Now Award (2012), the Griffin International Prize (2015), the PEN Pinter Prize (2017) and the inaugural Yakamochi Medal (2018)Other major achievements include the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), a CBE award (2010), and from 2007 to 2010 Michael was Ireland Professor of Poetry. In 2015 he was made a Freeman of the City of Belfast, and in the same year he received the Ulster Tatler Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of Aosdana.Michael has also written widely on the arts in Northern Ireland. He and his wife, the critic Edna Longley, live and work in Belfast.About Anne Morrison: Anne has a long and distinguished career as a television executive and producer in documentaries and other factual programmes. She is currently Creative Director, Factual at Nevision production company, having held senior roles in the BBC for many years. She was Chair of BAFTA and founded the BBC Academy. In 2018, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Nottingham Trent University for services to broadcasting and the arts. She was born and brought up in Belfast and now lives in London.
Best Ideas of: Michael Longley — The Vitality of Ordinary Things | On Being with Krista Tippett | 26 Mar 2021
On Being with Krista Tippett | 5 minute podcast summaries
For other podcast summaries, search 'podcast summaries' in any podcast apps.Or if you're on Apple Podcasts: http://bit.ly/5-min-summariesOriginal episode: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/michael-longley-the-vitality-of-ordinary-things/id150892556?i=10005144018071 quote:"If you don’t have anything to say, say nothing, silence is part of the enterprise, silence is sacred too."Key ideas: How one can be too self conscious, revisiting the same places & how something of no use can be valuable.Who is Michael Longley: Multiple prize winning poet who's known for the quiet beauty of his compact, meditative lyrics, with classical allusions to cast provocative light on contemporary concerns. Professor of poetry for Ireland who's written more than 20 books of poetry including Collected Poems, The Stairwell and most recently, The Candlelight Master.Idea 1 @ 27mins: One can be too self conscious. Michael says that Art and poetry require a certain amount of indifference. Michael says he's certain that: You can take your poem [or your work] seriously, but you mustn't take yourself seriously. He says that self importance engraves it's own headstone.Idea 2 @ 21mins: Revisiting the same places doesn't mean you exhaust it, it means you go more deeply into it. The beauty of going back to the same place over and over again: that you notice more and more. We often think about making sure we go to different places each time because it'd be a waste to go to the same place again, but in reality, you don't exhaust a place, you simply go more deeply into it. Michael says: you know the phrase, “travel broadens the mind.” We do quite a bit of traveling, but I think it also shallows the mind, depending on what you do and how you think about it. For Michael, going back to the same place in a devoted way and in a curious way is a huge part of his life.Idea 3 @ 41mins: Just because something is of no use, doesn't mean it's of no value. One of the marvelous things about poetry is that it’s useless. It’s useless. “What use is poetry?” people occasionally ask, in the butcher shop, say. They come up to me and they say, “What use is poetry?” And the answer is, “No use.” But it doesn’t mean to say that it’s without value. It’s without use, but it has value. It is valuable. The first people that dictators try to get rid of are the poets and the artists, the novelists and the playwrights. They burn their books. They’re terrified of what poetry can do. It means that poetry encourages you to think for yourself and to disregard church and state. It does. But that’s not exactly use. That just means it’s got value. The image that Michael loves the most is the English critic Cyril Connolly's comparison of arts to a little gland in the body called the pituitary gland, which is at the base of the spine. And it seems very small and unimportant, but when it’s removed, the body dies. Good art, good poems, is making people more human, making them more intelligent, making them more sensitive and emotionally pure than they might otherwise be.1 question: Can you think of a time where you took yourself too seriously?Other topics in episode: Michael reading & explaining the beauty in some of his favorite poems. Michael's transcendental experiences through art and nature. What does it mean to be human and how does poetry fit into all of that
To reassert the liveliness of ordinary things, precisely in the face of what is hardest and most broken in life and society — this has been Michael Longley’s gift as one of Northern Ireland’s foremost living poets. He is known, in part, as a poet of “the Troubles” — the violent 30-year conflict between Protestants and Catholics, English and Irish. And he is a gentle voice for all of us now, wise and winsome about the everyday, never-finished work of social healing.Michael Longley has written more than 20 books of poetry including Collected Poems, Gorse Fires, The Stairwell and his most recent collection, The Candlelight Master. He was the professor of poetry for Ireland from 2007 to 2010 and is a winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Hawthornden Prize. He was also the international winner of the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize — and that same year was honored with the Freedom of the City of Belfast.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.This show originally aired November 3, 2016.
To reassert the liveliness of ordinary things, precisely in the face of what is hardest and most broken in life and society — this has been Michael Longley’s gift as one of Northern Ireland’s foremost living poets. He is known, in part, as a poet of “the Troubles” — the violent 30-year conflict between Protestants and Catholics, English and Irish. And he is a gentle voice for all of us now, wise and winsome about the everyday, never-finished work of social healing.Michael Longley has written more than 20 books of poetry including Collected Poems, Gorse Fires, The Stairwell and his most recent collection, The Candlelight Master. He was the professor of poetry for Ireland from 2007 to 2010 and is a winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Hawthornden Prize. He was also the international winner of the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize — and that same year was honored with the Freedom of the City of Belfast.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Michael Longley — The Vitality of Ordinary Things." Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.
On this episode we revisit two very special events from this year's festival, featuring two of Northern Ireland’s finest exports, poet Michael Longley and novelist Jan Carson. Listen to the short story 'Soup' which Jan reads in its entirety and hear edited highlights from Michael Longley's conversation with diplomat, author and fellow Belfastian William D. Hanna.
Poet Michael Longley, album reviews, Kilkenny Arts Festival
Kay Sheehy chats to Michael Longley, the award-winning Belfast poet, The Candlelight Master is his new collection, portrait artist Blaise Smith on "Village People" his upcoming online portrait series at the Kilkenny Arts Festival, also album reviews, Alanis Morissette, Liela Moss & Mary Chapin Carpenter with Nadine O'Regan & Simon Maher.
WLS 64 Michael Longley reads A Sonnet for Michael Viney (repeat)
Words Lightly Spoken
This week in Words Lightly Spoken, a podcast of poetry from Ireland, a chance again to hear the very first episode from January 2019. In the first episode, Michael Longley, one of Ireland’s greatest poets, read his poem ‘A Sonnet for Michael Viney’. Michael Longley’s work is published by Cape Poetry. This episode of Words Lightly Spoken was funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.
To reassert the liveliness of ordinary things, precisely in the face of what is hardest and most broken in life and society — this has been Michael Longley’s gift to Northern Ireland as one of its foremost living poets. He is a voice for all of us now, wise and winsome about the force of words in a society that has moved away from sectarianism in living memory. The Good Friday Agreement was signed 20 years ago this month, and social healing is ongoing work to this day. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “The Vitality of Ordinary Things.” Find more at onbeing.org.