Home News Michael Longley wins €250,000 Feltrinelli Poetry Prize

Michael Longley wins €250,000 Feltrinelli Poetry Prize

Longley wins €250,000 Feltrinelli International Poetry Prize

Irish poet Michael Longley has won the €250,000 Feltrinelli International Prize for Poetry, awarded every five years by the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome.

Longley will be presented with the prize at a ceremony on 11th November this year. Previous winners include W H Auden, Eugenio Montale and John Ashbery.

‘One of the most perfect poets alive. There is something in his work both ancient and modern. I read him as I might check the sky for stars.’ —Sebastian Barry

Jonathan Cape will publish The Slain Birds in September.

The Accademi dei Lincei praised Longley for “the extraordinary relevance of his themes and their cultural implications, as well as the very high stylistic quality of his oeuvre.”

“Longley is an extraordinary poet of landscape, particularly of the Irish West, which he observes with the delicate and passionate attention of an ecologist, and a tragic singer of Ireland and its dramatic history,” it said.

“But with his poetry he has also addressed the seduction, conquest, and fascination of love, as well as the shock of war in all ages, the tragedy of the Holocaust and of the gulags, and the themes of loss, grief, and pity.”

Longley has received many awards, among them the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award and the Griffin International Prize. His Collected Poems was published in 2006, and Sidelines: Selected Prose in 2017. 

In 2001 he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, and in 2003 the Wilfred Owen Award. He was appointed a CBE in 2010, and from 2007 to 2010 was Ireland Professor of Poetry. In 2017 he received the PEN Pinter Prize, and in 2018 the inaugural Yakamochi Medal.

In 2015 he was made a Freeman for the city of Belfast, where he and his wife, the critic Edna Longley, live and work. Jonathan Cape will publish a new collection of poems titled The Slain Birds in September.