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A Guardian / Herald Scotland Book of the Year ‘A keeper of the artistic estate, a custodian of griefs and wonders’ Seamus Heaney Winner of the 2017 PEN Pinter prize Shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize

A Guardian / Herald Scotland Book of the Year

Winner of the 2017 PEN Pinter prize
Shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize

A remote townland in County Mayo, Carrigskeewaun has been for nearly fifty years Michael Longley’s home-from-home, his soul-landscape. Its lakes and mountains, wild animals and flowers, its moody seas and skies have for decades lit up his poetry. Now they overflow into Angel Hill, his exuberant new collection. In addition, Longley has been exploring Lochalsh in the Western Highlands where his daughter the painter Sarah Longley now lives with her family. She has opened up for him her own soul-landscape with its peculiar shapes and intense colours. In Angel Hill the imaginations of poet and painter intermingle and two exacting wildernesses productively overlap. Love poems and elegies and heart-rending reflections on the Great War and the Northern Irish Troubles add further weight to Michael Longley’s outstanding eleventh collection. Angel Hill will undoubtedly delight this great poet’s many admirers.


The pleasure of reviewing becomes a privilege when presented with poets and poetry of this quality... To adopt and adapt a phrase from The Beatles...Longley in [his]communion of the spirit and the soul gift[s] us with alchemical compounds, “saviours of the human race”.

Hayden Murphy, Herald Scotland

There are few contemporary poets as likeable as Michael Longley. That’s not because his poems are simply amiable, but because he looks at things hard and clearly and invites his readers to share his acts of seeing… Longley is one of few contemporary poets who can capture Homer’s spare and unrelenting humanity… The Stairwell (2014) – one of the loveliest collections of verse in the past decade… Literary historians of the future will no doubt position Longley among his fellow Irish poets Heaney and Mahon as the heirs of Yeats, and if not children of the Troubles then their wise observers.

Colin Burrow, London Review of Books

Michael Longley’s Angel Hill…is at once elegiac and celebratory, and achingly beautiful. Longley has honed his poetry to the bone, but how the bone does shine.

John Banville, Guardian, Books of the Year

Thoughtful, elegant poems that celebrate family life, grandchildren, and a long marriage.

The Irish Times, Rosita Boland

Unafraid to capture the intimacies and specifics of this life, Longley is also one of the very few poets able to take us, time and again, to a place as “Wild and melodious” as the birdsong he celebrates.

Fran Brearton, Guardian

Lush and elegiac, delicate and muscular, melancholy and thrilling.

John Banville, Observer

Quietly intense and lyrically beautiful… True greatness shows in poems in memory of his friend Seamus Heaney, in exquisite evocations of landscapes in Ireland and Scotland, and in celebrations of married love.

Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

Angel Hill encapsulates, in rich and powerful verse, everything that it is to be Michael Longley… His poetry has peace to it, a sense of contentment... It has all the craft and meaning of someone who’s been writing poetry for fifty years. It is, at its best, timeless.

Barney Pite, Cherwell Newspaper

Already the virtues of a Longley poem are on display: the easy conversational manner, the unselfconscious shaping of line and stanza, the ability to sound a genuinely affectionate, unsentimental note.

John Greening, The Times Literary Supplement

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    June 15, 2017

    Jonathan Cape

    80 pages

    RRP $37.00

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