In Sligo for the Yeats International Summer School

Eavan Boland: Irish poet
Looking forward to working with Eavan Boland, my favourite living poet

I've gone back to school!

I'm writing this from the back  of an unusual lecture hall — the Hawk's Well Theatre in Sligo, after a very fine lecture, “The Epiphanic Yeats” by Dr Matthew Campbell, Professor of English at the University of York.

Epiphanic talk, Matt, thank you!

Yes, I'm here in Sligo, Ireland, attending various lectures at the Yeats International Summer School, learning lots, making new friends and, next Monday, launching my special edition book Secret Rose at Yeats House.

The summer school runs alongside the “Tread Softly” festival, a two-week extravaganza of all things Yeatsian. Highlights for me, will be:


  • My launch, obviously, and post-launch dinner at Broc House with Damien Brennan & Paul Gilvarry
  • Lectures, including those on A Vision by the renowned expert on that fugitive text, Professor Meg Harper — I need to know more on this for the closing chapters of the third part of my trilogy (But A Dream); “The Weasel's Twist, the Weasel's Tooth” by Anne Fogarty; “Easter 1916” by my old prof at UCD (and father of the now more famous Emma), Denis Donoghue; and a former Summer School Director's roundtable.


  • Blue Raincoat's A Country Under Wave, performing readings of all 26 plays in 26 different locations
  • Psychic Lighthouse, art exhibition of ritual, spiritual and occult practices. Curator's tour by Emer McGarry
  • And — gasping with smelling-salts-excitement here — a poetry workshop with my favorite living poet, Eavan Boland.

If you're in Sligo for the feast of words, art and music, do come up and say Hello. And if you'd like to come to my book launch you'll find more about that here.

Keep up with the fun and frolics on Twitter: Summer School: #YEATSISS15 Tread Softly Festival: #treadsoftly

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