The Consulate General of Ireland, Atlanta, hosted an event to mark Yeats Day on Saturday 13 June at Emory University in Atlanta. Emory University is home to one of the largest collections of Yeats papers and archives anywhere outside of Ireland.
The event was packed to capacity (200+ attendees). The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Global Atlanta all reported on the event and a local affiliate of National Public Radio ran an extended interview with two participants in the programme in the week preceding the birthday.
At the event, former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and former Georgia Poet Laureate David Bottoms spoke about and read their favourite Yeats poems; Ms Geraldine Higgins of Emory University’s Irish Studies Programme, Jim Flannery of the W.B. Yeats Foundation and Ron Schuchard, a Yeats & Eliot scholar, provided an academic perspective; musical selections were performed by local artists and Atlanta’s new Irish theatre company, Arís, performed scenes from Yeats’ 1917 play, ‘The Cat and the Moon’. The Consul General of Ireland, Paul Gleeson, spoke about Yeats’s impact on Irish society through the turbulent years of the Rising and Ireland’s fight for independence, as well as his diverse range of interests and accomplishments beyond poetry. In the Michael C. Carlos Museum, where the event took place, a selection of Emory’s Yeats archives and Irish photographs by Alen MacWeeney was also showcased.