Michael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he read Classics. He has published eleven collections of poetry including Gorse Fires (1991) which won the Whitbread Poetry Award, The Weather in Japan (2000) which won both the Hawthornden Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize, and The Stairwell (2014) which won the Griffin International Prize. His Collected Poems appeared in 2006. 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 2015 he was elected a Freeman of the City of Belfast. His most recent collection, Angel Hill, appeared in 2017, as did Sidelines: Selected Prose 1962-2015. He was awarded the 2017 PEN Pinter Prize.