One Wide Expanse is the first volume in The Poet’s Chair series, which will publish the public lectures of the Ireland Professors of Poetry. The Ireland Chair of Poetry was established in 1998 following the award of the Nobel Prize of Literature to Seamus Heaney and is supported by Queen’s University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion. The next two volumes will contain the lectures of Harry Clifton and Paula Meehan. This series follows on from the publication of the lectures of John Montague, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill and Paul Durcan in The Poet’s Chair, published in 2008. In this volume, the distinguished Irish poet Michael Longley - whose poetry has transcended political and cultural boundaries throughout his career - reflects on what has influenced his craft. Longley opens with an ’autobiography in poetry’ where he recounts the poets and poems that have influenced him as both a reader and writer of poetry. He discusses his intimate relationship with Derek Mahon and Seamus Heaney along with other poets from around the world.The second lecture explores how influential the classical literatures of Greece and Rome have been on English poetry, highlighting how he has used these literatures in his own work, often to portray the Troubles in his native Northern Ireland.Longley closes with a very personal discussion of the influence that the west of Ireland has had on his poetry, his life, and his ’spiritual education’. The poet’s love of nature and the environment shines through and extracts from his poems portray his deep understanding of the West. This illuminating volume gives readers a rare insight into the creative process of one of Ireland’s leading contemporary poets who was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2007 to 2010.