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QUB to name new room and £400,000 poetry scholarship fund in recognition of Michael Longley and wife Edna

Poet Michael Longley. Picture by Mal McCann.

THE work of poet Michael Longley and his wife Edna is set to be recognised by Queen's University Belfast through a new £400,000 scholarship.

Their contribution will also be acknowledged through the creation of a new classroom at the university known as the Longley Room.

The move comes after a gift from US businessman Mark Pigott, was matched by the University, to create the Michael Longley Endowed Scholarship Fund.

The new fund will host two poetry scholarships each year valued at £7,500 awarded to students studying the MA in Poetry.

The scholarships will be begin in the 2021/22 academic year.

One will go to a student from the island of Ireland with preference given to those from a disadvantaged background.

The second scholarship be provided to a candidate from the UK or EU, with preference shown to students from Britain.

Michael Longley said he was "proud" to have his name on the scholarships.

“Poetry is my religion," he said.

"It is how I make sense of life.

"For more than 60 years, it has been my soul-work."

His wife, professor emeritus Edna Longley, a renowned Irish literary poetry critic and commentator, said it was "truly flattering that there will be a room on campus which carries our name".

“Michael and I, who have longstanding links with Queen's, are humbled to be recognised by the establishment of the scholarships and the Longley Room," she said.

Mr Pigott said "these scholarships recognise their decades of inspirational work".

Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's said the university "is delighted with this generous gift from Mr Pigott".

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