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PEN Pinter Prize 2017
10 October 2017, 7:00 pm—8:30 pm£8 – £12
The 2017 PEN Pinter Prize will be awarded to Michael Longley at a public event at the British Library on Tuesday 10 October. He will be presented with the prize at this event and deliver an address. There will also be readings from Michael Longley’s work and an encomium by Professor Eamon Duffy. A limited edition booklet containing the presentation will be published by Faber & Faber and available to the audience at the event.
The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the worldwide writers’ association and freedom of expression charity English PEN in memory of Nobel-laureate playwright Harold Pinter. The Prize is awarded annually to a writer from Britain, the Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel Literature Prize speech, casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving gaze upon the world’ and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination…to define the real truth of our lives and our societies.’ Michael Longley was selected by this year’s judges Tom Gatti, Don Paterson, Polly Stenham, Antonia Fraser and President of English PEN and Chair of Judges, Maureen Freely.
The prize will be shared with an International Writer of Courage: a writer who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty, selected by Michael Longley from a shortlist of international cases supported by English PEN. The co-winner will be announced at the event, where they will accept their prize alongside Michael Longley.
Michael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939 and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Trinity College Dublin where he read Classics. He has published ten collections of poetry including Gorse Fires (1991) which won the Whitbread Poetry Award, and The Weather in Japan (2000) which won the Hawthornden Prize, the T S Eliot Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Prize. Collected Poems was published in 2006. In 2001 he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and in 2003 he won the Wilfred Owen Award. He was awarded a CBE in 2010. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2007–2010. He and his wife, the critic Edna Longley, live and work in Belfast. His latest work, Angel Hill, is published on 1 June.