Thursday 14 November 2019

WB Yeats goes global for St Patrick’s Day

Yeats2015 is a campaign to bring the poet's work to a wider audience across the globe
Yeats2015 is a campaign to bring the poet's work to a wider audience across the globe

David Kearns

WB Yeats will have pride of place at London’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations as Ireland’s ambassador Daniel Mulhall gives a special reading to mark the 150th anniversary of the poet's birth.

A special series of events are planned to take place across the globe to honour the Irish man, with Britain, Russia and Brazil among those hosting events dedicated to his memory.

Trafalgar Square will be where Ambassador Mulhall will do a public reading of ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’, followed by a special reading from Aisling Fahey, Young Poet Laureate for London.

“I look forward to presenting WB Yeats to a large audience as part of London’s St Patrick’s Day Festival. I will be reciting a poem that connects London and the beautiful Sligo countryside, part of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way,” said the ambassador .

In his spiritual home of Sligo, the traditional St Patrick's Day parade will have a Yeats theme to celebrate the poet's great love of the county.

While thousands of miles away in Brazil, Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan will be on hand to launch the WB Yeats Chair of Irish Studies for 2015 at the University of Sao Paolo.

She will also present a piece by Sligo artist and cartoonist Annie West, from her well- known Yeats in Love series, to the University.

In Moscow, a leading Yeatsian scholar, Charles Armstrong, Professor at Norway’s University of Agder, will lecture on “WB Yeats and being Irish” - as part of a wider event, organised by the Irish Embassy in Moscow.

“I’m very excited about taking part in what promises to be a great event in distinguished surroundings. Yeats belongs to Ireland but he also belongs to the world: it’s great to see more people taking a pleasure in his work all over the globe,” said Professor Armstrong .

Yeats2015 is part of the Government's official 'Decade of Commemoration' and is funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

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