Page last updated at 05:52 GMT, Friday, 7 September 2007 06:52 UK

Longley new professor of poetry

Michael Longley is the 4th person to hold the post
Michael Longley is the 4th person to hold the post

Belfast poet Michael Longley has been appointed the new Professor of Poetry for Ireland.

The writer, who was born in 1939, is the fourth person to hold the post.

The announcement was made by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who described Dr Longley as "one of the most talented poets of our time".

Awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2001, Michael Longley's first collection of poetry was No Continuing City: Poems 1963-1968.

The Echo Gate: Poems 1975-1979 was published in 1979, and Gorse Fires was published in 1991.

The acclaimed work won the Whitbread Poetry Award.

His collection, The Weather in Japan, in 2000, won the Hawthornden Prize and the TS Eliot Prize.

Speaking at the Ireland Chair of Poetry event in Belfast, Mr McGuinness said Michael Longley's work "has brought great pleasure to many".

"He is an outstanding poet whose work is enjoyed today and will be enjoyed by generations to come.

"I believe that Michael, like previous holders of the chair, recognises the responsibility that comes with having such a gift.

"The impact that poetry and literature have on people and society should never be underestimated."


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