Northern Ireland

NI poets shortlisted for prize

Michael Longley sitting in front of a piano
Image caption Michael Longley was granted the freedom of Belfast in 2015 for his contribution to literature and culture

Two Northern Irish poets have been shortlisted for one of the most prestigious prizes in poetry.

Michael Longley and Sinead Morrissey are both on the five-person shortlist for the Forward Prize for best poetry collection.

Longley has been shortlisted for his collection 'Angel Hill,' which explores the landscapes of Ireland and Scotland.

Morrissey - a former Belfast poet laureate - has been nominated for 'On Balance'.

Her collection includes poems about engineering feats like the Titanic, Lillian Bland's aeroplane and Marconi's radio.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Ms Morrissey was appointed Belfast's first poet laureate in July 2013.

The Irish poet Tara Bergin has also made the shortlist for her book 'The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx.'

The journalist and broadcaster Andrew Marr chairs the prize's judging panel.

"I came away more than ever convinced than ever that if you read journalism alone, or history alone, and yet you omit contemporary poetry, then you cannot properly understand the world you live in," he said.

The Forward Prize winner will be announced at a ceremony at London's Royal Festival Hall in September.

The award is worth £10,000 and previous winners have included Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Carol Ann Duffy.

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