Micheal Longley and Bernard O’Donaghue
Music by Brian Holmes on Banjo and Danny Hunter on fiddle
Michael Longley has published eleven books of poetry. His Collected Poems was published in 2006. His most recent collection, Angel Hill, came out in June 2017, as did Sidelines: Selected Prose 1962-2015 His previous collection The Stairwell (2014) won the Griffin International Prize. He published a pamphlet, A Stream’s Tattle, in 2019. In 2001, Longley received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He has won the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Hawthornden Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He is a Freeman of the city of Belfast. Michael Longley was appointed a CBE in 2010. From 2007 to 2010, he was Ireland Professor of Poetry, in 2017, he received the PEN Pinter Prize and in 2018, he was awarded the inaugural Yakamochi Medal; an international poetry prize awarded by Toyama Prefecture, Japan.
Bernard O’Donoghue’s poetry is marked by a gift for poetic portraiture and sketching characters at moments of emotional intensity. From encounters during his childhood in Ireland to elegiac recollections of academics and poets in Oxford, O’Donoghue’s readers are met by a generous yet understated control of voice. Each portrait delivers a miniature, crafted narrative that encapsulates, through a brief, controlled moment, the full emotion of living. At their most potent, O’Donoghue’s poems seem to act as epitaphs to well-lived lives; but their achievement for a reader is that they do so without sentimentality, nor by trivialising. Each recollected deed is held up as marvellous.
Sponsored by Bobby and Truly Gilmore