Michael Longley to read at Clifden Arts Festival

Festival to host readings by poets Bernard O’ Donoghue, Paul Durcan, Paul Muldoon, Catherine Bateson, and Jane Williams

Poet Michael Longley views his portrait painted by Colin Davidson.

Poet Michael Longley views his portrait painted by Colin Davidson.

MICHAEL LONGLEY, one of Northern Ireland’s foremost political poets, will read at the 40th Clifden Arts Festival, on a bill which also includes fellow poet Bernard O’ Donoghue, commonly referred to as the "nicest man in Oxford".

The 'capital of Connemara', and home of Ireland’s longest running festival, features a number of literary heavyweights, as there will also be readings by poets Paul Durcan, Paul Muldoon, Catherine Bateson, and Jane Williams, as well as from Doire Press authors Martin Malone and Karen J McDonnell.

Known for using classical allusions to cast provocative light on contemporary concerns, including Northern Ireland’s 'Troubles', Michael Longley’s poetry is also marked by sharp observation of the natural world, deft use of technique, and deeply felt emotion. Born in Belfast to English parents, Longley was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and subsequently read Classics at Trinity College, Dublin.

He is best known for the collections No Continuing City (1969 ) and the the Whitbread Poetry Prize winning Gorse Fires (1991 ). He has also won The Irish Times Literature Prize for Poetry, the Hawthornden Prize, the TS Eliot Prize, and Britain's Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Bernard O’Donoghue was born in Cork and moved to Manchester when he was 16. His poetry has been described as having an emotional intensity conveyed through a controlled, yet impeccably natural language. His poems deliver a miniature, crafted narrative, encapsulating through a brief, controlled moment the full emotion of living. His 1995 collection, Gunpowder, won the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. In 2009 he was honoured by the Society of Authors with a Cholmondeley Award.

Clifden Arts Festival runs from September 13 5o 24. For more information and and tickets see www.clifdenartsfestival.ie

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