Northern Ireland

Belfast's poet laureate Sinead Morrissey leaves city

Sinead Morrissey Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Sinead Morrissey is to take up a post at Newcastle University

Belfast's first poet laureate, Sinead Morrissey, is to leave the city for a new role at Newcastle University, the BBC has learnt.

She will leave her current post at Queen's University, where she is Professor of Creative Writing, at the end of February.

Ms Morrissey was appointed Belfast's first poet laureate by then Lord Mayor Mairtin Ó'Muilleoir in July 2013.

To date, she is the only person to hold the post.

As Poet Laureate, she read for the Queen at Buckingham Palace as well as working with schools, community groups, prisoners and writers groups across Belfast.

She was subsequently appointed professor at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University in 2015.

When contacted by the BBC, Ms Morrissey would only say that she was "delighted" at being appointed to her new post.

She is one of Britain's leading poets, having won the £15,000 TS Eliot prize in 2014 for her collection, Parallax.

She followed fellow Northern Irish writers Paul Muldoon and Seamus Heaney in claiming the award, which is one of the most prestigious prizes in world poetry.

She subsequently won the $20,000 EM Forster award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2016.

Ms Morrissey has published five collections of poetry, and her works include a number of poems about Belfast.

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