Belfast Telegraph

Town celebrates poet and playwright

A day of events to celebrate the works and legacy of poet and playwright WB Yeats will be staged next month.

Yeats Day will be held in his spiritual home of Sligo on his birthday, Wednesday June 13. Theatre, music, poetry and readings will be held throughout the day to embrace places and spaces close to the cultural icon's heart.

Joe Cox, president of the Yeats Society, said he was delighted to see Yeats shared in the wider community of Sligo, an area which played a role in his written work over many decades.

"He is a wonderful poet and we in Sligo are proud of him and want to share his work and raise his profile, especially among children," he said.

Organisers said the schedule for the inaugural Yeats Day is designed to set the spirit of the writers free and to encourage young and old to come out on the streets in celebration of the poet.

Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan will officially inaugurate the day at Drumcliffe, where Yeats is buried.

Local councils, libraries, several arts venues and Government departments have joined forces to host the event, funded by the Department of the Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and Failte Ireland.

Tourism chiefs hope the day will be one of a series of events commemorating Yeats in Sligo throughout the summer.

Sligo Senator Susan O'Keeffe revealed she had the idea many years ago to bring the love of Yeats onto the streets for the community to share.

"I am delighted to build this day in collaboration with so many people and organisations so that we can celebrate this wonderful poet in Sligo and in time across the world," she added.

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