One of Northern Ireland’s foremost contemporary poets, Michael Longley will give a reading on Thursday, Oct. 17 as part of the Trias Series. From Belfast, Northern Ireland, Longley is known for the quiet beauty of his compact, meditative lyrics and allusions to cast provocative light on contemporary concerns. His work engages diverse subjects, including Homeric literature, the landscape of Carrigskeewaun, jazz, Walter Mitty, and the politics of Northern Ireland. He is one of the most seminal poets to emerge in Ireland in the 1960s and 1970s. The reading will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Hirshson Ballroom.
Longley’s extensive work includes eight published collections of poetry. Among these are “Gorse Fires” (1991), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award, and “The Weather in Japan” (2000), which won the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Prize. His recent publications include “Snow Water” (2004), which was awarded the Librex Montale Prize; “Collected Poems” (2006); and “A Hundred Doors” (2011), which was shortlisted for a 2011 Forward Poetry Prize, and was hailed as one of the “best poetry books of 2011,” by the Boston Globe.
He studied classics at Trinity College, Dublin before teaching in schools in Belfast, Dublin and London. In 1970, Longley joined the Arts Council of Northern Ireland where he worked as combined arts director of literature and the traditional arts until his 1991 retirement. He has written widely on the arts in Northern Ireland, contributing to magazines like Encounter and Phoenix, and to BBC radio. Longley was a writer fellow at Trinity College, Dublin and is currently a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He has been awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (2001) and the Wilfred Owen Award (2003).
The Trias Residency for Writers is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing. The fund was established through a generous bequest from Peter J. Trias ’70. Trias graduated from Hobart with a bachelor’s degree in English, and went on to earn his MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1972. In 1976, he published a collection of poems, “The House in Venice.” This year’s Trias Writer-in Residence is poet Piotr Summer.
Tomaž Šalamun will join the Trias Series on Monday, Nov. 25 for a reading of his work. Considered Slovenia’s greatest living poet, he is one of the foremost figures of the Eastern European avant-garde in poetry.
For more information about The Peter Trias Residency for Writers, visit the website at www.hws.edu/trias or contact David Weiss, director of the Trias Residency for Writers, at firstname.lastname@example.org.