Monday 24 July 2017

Literary stars tread softly to Sligo for Yeats festival

Seamus Heaney is among the star attractions for this year's Yeats festival
Seamus Heaney is among the star attractions for this year's Yeats festival

Colin Gleeson

POET Seamus Heaney and writer Colm Toibin will be the star attractions for this year's Yeats Summer School in Sligo.

Organisers said this year's festival, at the Hawks Well Theatre in Sligo Town, would have a "family-friendly" approach, with poetry workshops for all ages.

There will also be weekend trips to Thoor Ballylee in Co Galway, which was once home to Yeats after he restored it for his family. Other trips will be organised to the estate of Lady Gregory -- who helped WB Yeats found the Irish Literary Theatre in 1898, and the Abbey Theatre in 1904 -- in Coole Park, Co Galway, where 'The Wild Swans at Coole' was set.

Additionally, the cultural quarter of Sligo town will host a major exhibition of Jack B Yeats's paintings.

At the school, there will be a reading by Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney, as well as a full programme of lectures, discussions, and an evening with long-term Yeats devotee, Mike Scott of The Waterboys.

Two lectures each morning will be followed by lunch and a range of light activities -- from poetry readings to drama and seminars in the afternoons. The seminars will be led by lecturers, and will provide for discussion and a closer look at Yeats, and the context of his work.

Poetry workshops will be conducted by award-winning poet and novelist, Nick Laird, together with Colm Toibin, while Joan McBreen, Eamonn Grennan, Peter Fallon and John McAuliffe will give readings from the seminal works of WB Yeats.

The school runs in the Hawks Well Theatre, Sligo Town, for two weeks from tomorrow.

One week's admission costs €400 and the full fortnight is €650. Accommodation is not included.

Irish Independent

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