Michael Longley, who will turn 80 in 2019, is one of our finest poets, and on 11th and 18th November the Poetry Programme has an extended interview recorded at Michael’s home in Belfast - listen to it above. 

In the second part of the interview, Michael talks to Poetry Programme host Olivia O'Leary about how, as a poet, he has responded to the thirty years of violence in Northern Ireland, and about his marriage of over fifty years to his wife, Edna. He reiterates something that he has said before, that the best poetry is written by the young and the old, and speaks about his joy that he is still writing.

His first reader, and, he says, his last reader, is his wife, the critic Edna Longley.

Listen to a preview below: 

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The programme ends with a poem written to mark the latest of many poetry awards that his work has received over the years, the inaugural Yakamochi Medal, named in honour of the 8th century Japanese poet Otomo no Yakamochi and awarded to an outstanding poet from anywhere in the world.

The Poetry Programme, RTÉ Radio 1, Sundays at 7.30pm - the programme will be available to listen back to after broadcast via the Poetry Programme website and on the RTÉ radio player.