The Verb
44min2022 JUL 9
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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 McMillan Producer: Jessica Treen

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