The programme of events to mark the Centenary of the Yeats Nobel Prize, 2023, is curated by Yeats Society Sligo and supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, under the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023.
The Poetry Prize
Thursday 27th July 2023, Sligo
The winner of the inaugural Poetry Prize was announced at the opening of the 64th Yeats International Summer School. The Prize is for a single collection of poetry, published in 2022 by an Irish poet. It is run in association with Irish Independent. The event honours poetry in Ireland in the Nobel Centenary.
Saturday September 16th 2023, Sligo
Written by WB Yeats and the last play he saw performed at the Abbey Theatre. Directed by Bob Kelly and performed at the private walled garden at the old Rectory at Drumcliffe.
What is the Nobel Prize?
Tuesday 14th November 2023, nationwide
One hundred years ago, on this day, WB Yeats received a phone call to say that he had won the Nobel Prize in Literature. A kit of information including an e-zine, cut-out masks and photos will be shared across all libraries in Ireland for young visitors to learn about the Nobel Prize in Literature and the significance to Ireland of its award to WB Yeats 100 years ago.
Dynamite & Sausages
Wednesday 15th & Wednesday 22nd November, online
A two-part online presentation to 5th and 6th class primary school students across the country, given by Director Yeats Society Sligo, Susan O’Keeffe, in association with Navan Education Centre. Part 1 will concentrate on the history of the Nobel Prize and Part 2 will take a look at why the Yeats Nobel Prize remains important 100 years on.
A Smiling Public Man
November 23rd 2023, Dublin
Readings and recollections of WB Yeats poetry and speeches to Seanad Éireann as a member of the first Seanad of the Irish Free State. This event will be hosted by Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Senator Jerry Buttimer, in collaboration with the National Library of Ireland(NLI).
Now Must We Sing
Sunday 26th November 2023, Dublin
A celebration of the Nobel Prize awarded to WB Yeats, the Abbey Theatre marks the Nobel centenary of its founder WB Yeats. Some of Ireland’s finest poets, writers, actors, and musicians will come together to perform and pay tribute to his legacy, led by Abbey Theatre Artistic Director Caitríona McLaughlin, and Yeats Society Sligo Director Susan O’Keeffe.
My Numberless Dreams… My Passionate Rhyme
Thursday 30th November – Saturday 2nd December, Sligo
Ireland Professor of Poetry, Paul Muldoon, will deliver the keynote lecture, Counted One: Yeats By the Numbers, introduced by poet Jessica Traynor. The programme also includes a tribute to Seamus Heaney, led by Theo Dorgan, a panel discussion on the Future of Poetry and Paul Muldoon and Eiléan Ní Chuileanáin’s readings, introduced by broadcaster and poet, John Kelly.
The NLI – home to the Nobel Poet
Saturday 9th December, Dublin
Professor Margaret Kelleher, UCD and author and scholar Dr Joe Hassett will lead a discussion on the legacy of WB Yeats and his Nobel Prize. The event marks the long and strong relationship which WB Yeats enjoyed with Ireland’s National Library, which also houses the largest collection of WB Yeats’ work in Ireland. There are also two online talks delivered by Professor Barry Sheils (November 14th) and Professor Geraldine Higgins (November 28th).
Ghosts, Sausages & Dining Room Table
Monday 11th December, nationwide
A short play, commissioned especially for this year, will be shared with all Irish primary schools on the day after the centenary of Yeats receiving the Nobel medal in Stockholm. The play is designed to be performed by young students to provide a humorous, behind the scenes, introduction to the story of WB Yeats and his wife George, just as he receives the momentous news. The play is written by Eva Joyce and is provided on a royalty free basis to all schools. A film of the play will also be distributed to schools and via YouTube.
The Irish Dramatic Movement
Friday 15th December, Dublin and Stockholm
On December 15th, 1923, WB Yeats delivered his passionate Nobel Speech in Stockholm, the culmination of his Nobel Prize award. It was entitled The Irish Dramatic Movement and he concentrated his remarks on the way in which the movement that he led, had brought important change to Ireland. Esteemed actor Barry McGovern will deliver the speech in Stockholm and actor Sam McGovern will deliver the speech simultaneously in Dublin.
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