This special edition brings together for the first time the best of Michael's Mayo poems and reflects the intricacies of his thirty-year love affair with the Mayo landscape and, more particularly, with the townland of Carrigskeewaun, where he has been going with his family since 1970. The forty-nine poems in "The Lake Without a Name" are, to use Michael's words from the preface to this edition, 'consecrated by the right company' - twenty-eight beautifully crafted wood engravings by artist and friend Jeffrey Morgan. "The Lake Without a Name" is the fruit of an enduring friendship between poet and artist. The book represents a unique collaboration between two extraordinary craftsmen. This fine press limited edition of "The Lake Without a Name" consists of 275 signed and numbered copies. The first seventy-five copies of the book contain a signed and numbered four-page insert with a specially commissioned poem by Michael and an additional wood engraving by Jeffrey, which is unique to this limited edition. These seventy-five copies have a special quarter-binding of Harmatan goat leather.
Poet Michael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939 and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. After reading classics at Trinity College, Dublin, he taught in schools in Belfast, Dublin and London. He joined the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 1970, working in literature and the traditional arts as Combined Arts Director before taking early retirement from the post in 1991. He was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2001. His first collection of poetry, No Continuing City: Poems 1963-1968, was published in 1969, and the collection Poems 1963-1983 was published in 1985. There was a 12-year gap between the publication of The Echo Gate: Poems 1975-1979 (1979) and the acclaimed Gorse Fires (1991), winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award. His most recent collection, The Weather in Japan (2000), won the Hawthornden Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Belfast Arts Award for Literature. He is editor of 20th Century Irish Poems (2002). Michael Longley was Writer Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1993. He has written widely on the arts in Northern Ireland, contributing to magazines including Encounter and Phoenix and has written scripts for BBC radio. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of Aosdana, an affiliation of Irish artists engaged in literature, music and visual arts. He lives in Belfast with his wife, the critic Edna Longley.