Saturday 20 July 2019

Celebrating WB Yeats

Yeats Society welcome visitors from across globe for Yeats Day

This year's Yeats Day connected people from across to globe to the annual celebration which takes place in Sligo town.

For anyone not here in the Yeats County to celebrate the 154th birthday of the Nobel prize winning poet, there was still the opportunity to get involved via social media using the hashtag YeatsDaySligo.

This new initiative led to peole from across the globe playing their part in the event.

Susan O'Keeffe, Director of the Yeats Society, told The Sligo Champion: "It was really terrific. Lots of people in Sligo who are familiar with Yeats Day were coming along to sample the fantastic cake we have.

"We had a resounding result from the hashtag that we set up for Yeats Day which was #YeatsDaySligo. People from Sligo, the country and across the globe were reciting their favourite Yeats poems, looking to send Yeats viral and we did that.

"It was lovely that people were willing to put aside a few moments to record this video in honour of Yeats Day. We must thank people for that."

She said the new initiative involving the hashtag brought the Yeats Day celebrations to a whole new audience, thanks to the power of social media.

"I started this in 2012 and while Twitter was around back then it was nothing like the power it is now.

"Facebook is still the favourite platform for people to share things on and of course you have people using instagram now too. It's all changed. We went out on a campaign for about three weeks ago to promote it.

"And it was great. So many people got involved. For example, the captain of the naval ship, the W.B. Yeats posted his video on Twitter, there was none of this sort of thing back in 2012."

As part of the celebrations, a new art installation involved the 'White Birds' have been set up at the Yeats Building.

"It coincides with the 60th year of the summer school and it's important to celebrate this. We had the launch of the White Birds installation at the Yeats Building. We also had white birds on the cake, We chose that poem because it's a universal poem, this poem is not as well known."

She added that the Yeats celebrations are a great way to put Sligo on the map.

"Given that everything we have done is about putting Sligo on the map and linking the great poet to this great place. Yeats is appreciated across the globe and we sometimes forget how well loved Yeats and his work are. We see it all the time. People across the globe come in to the Yeats Building.

"We wanted a vehicle to keep putting Sligo on the map and what better prism to do that through."

There were visitors from the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and more at this year's event.

Sligo Champion