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The On Being Project

Michael Longley

The Vitality of Ordinary Things

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.

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  • Michael Longley

    Michael Longley

    has written more than 20 books of poetry including Collected Poems, Gorse Fires, The Stairwell and his most recent collection, Angel Hill. He was the professor of poetry for Ireland from 2007 to 2010 and is the winner of the Whitbread Poetry Prize, T.S. Eliot Prize, the Hawthornden Prize and the Griffen Prize. In 2015 he was honored with the freedom of the city of Belfast.