I am a member of the Yeats Society Sligo and horrified to hear from Director Susan O’Keeffe today that its future is under threat.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the society, which is now facing imminent closure. “We must raise €100,000 by August or close forever – closing off the legacy of our greatest poet, and the important literary heritage for future generations of poets, poetry lovers and local people.”
In an article in the Irish Times, O'Keefe lists some of WB Yeats extraordinary achievements: “the most quoted poet globally… his work has appeared in every genre of the arts: opera, folk music, jazz, film, theatre, poetry, art and literature and he… has brought Ireland to every corner of the globe through the universality of his work.
Just this week, I had an American reader tell me how her introduction to Irish history and her family's history was the Yeats poetry she learned in school.”
Yeats connection with Sligo is no tourist board invention. It was Yeats's maternal home, source of much inspiration for his plays and poetry, and where he chose to be buried. As O'Keefe says, “Yeats Society Sligo, now in its sixth decade, has endured in this small town, on the wild, Atlantic coast, with no university (yet), precisely because Yeats’s links with this place are authentic.”
The society has honored the connection with numerous readings, workshops, exhibitions, performances and book launches, including one of mine—the launch of my special edition Secret Rose at what is now the longest-running literary summer school in the world.
At the time of writing, the fundraising campaign has raised $75,000 of its $100,000 goal. Make your donation: here
Her Secret Rose tells the story of Yeats famous romance with Maud Gonne from her side. You can purchase in all good online bookstores and (my preference if it's all the same to you!) on my website here.
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