The finest verse, according to W.B. Yeats was one which filled the reader with the urge to read it out loud.

Your Yeats is an ambitious project to create an extensive online archive of live recordings of the poems of W.B. Yeats.

Now, we need your help to make this the world’s largest audio archive of Yeats’ work by recording a reading of the poem of your choice. You can find anthologies of Yeats work in your local library or local bookshop, and many of his poems can also be found at Poetry Foundation online.

More About Your Yeats

Inspired by the oral tradition of the ancient Irish bards, he set out to keep his poetry clear of ‘every phrase written for eye’, leaving only what was ‘for the ear alone’. Made to be spoken, one of the special joys of his poetry is the palpable mouth-feel of the words.

You could say Yeats himself kicked it off by making a recording of The Lake Isle of Innisfree for the ‘wireless’ in 1932, and in 2015, poets, actors, writers, musicians, academics, politicians and journalists have agreed to join in. We are honoured that our patron, President Michael D. Higgins has supplied us with a reading of Prayer for my Daughter. The family of the late Seamus Heaney has also graciously given permission for us to use his recording of What Then?

For more inspiration you can watch Leonard Cohen recite four lines from In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz, at his landmark Lisadell concert in Sligo in 2010.

If you’re feeling very brave, once you’ve recorded your chosen poem why don’t you visit Sligo and read it aloud?! Hargadon Bros have an open poetry slot every lunchtime in Sligo town.

How to submit a reading to Your Yeats

We are using soundcloud, a free online audio sharing platform to host Your Yeats.

There are two ways you can submit your reading to the project.

Option 1

Upload your poetry reading to your own SoundCloud account and email the link to us at info@yeats2015.com. It is free to create a soundcloud account and you can record and upload an audio file directly from your computer or smartphone (via the soundlcoud app). There are instructions on how to record and upload to soundcloud here.

Make sure you add the tag #YourYeats and #yeats2015 to your track so it can easily be found by other listeners. Please also include a high resolution (good quality) photo on your upload and please keep the ‘downloads enabled’ option ticked so we can add the recording to our archive.

Option 2

Send your recording to us at info@yeats2015.com along with a high resolution (good quality) photo and we will upload to our Yeats2015 SoundCloud on your behalf. The recording should be in one of the following formats: MP3, WAVE (WAV), AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, OGG, MP2, AAC. Please note that the maximum file size is 5MB. If your file is larger than 5MB you can upload it to a flie sharing service like dropbox or we transfer and send the link to the address above.

You can listen to more of the wonderful recordings we’ve received on our Yeats2015 Soundcloud account.

Featured Readings

Seamus Heaney

Micheal Ó Muircheartaigh – Fiddler Of Dooney

Eva Murray – In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz

Damien Brennan – White Birds

Dan Mulhall – The Wild Swans At Coole

Professor Meg Harper – Lapis Lazuli

Mary Robinson – The Song Of Wandering Aengus by W.B. Yeats