Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats, leading poet Bernard O’Donoghue hosts an evening of poetry and discussion in honour of the man who remains a towering figure in Irish and world literature, with live readings from the acclaimed actress Fiona Shaw.
Exploring the many different sides of Yeats; the poet, nationalist and mystic, questions will be asked about identity and Irishness, and celebrate what Auden called ‘some of the most beautiful poetry of modern times’.
Bernard O’Donoghue is a Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, where he teaches Medieval English. He has published five collections of poetry, Poaching Rights (1987), The Weakness (1991), Gunpowder (winner of the 1995 Whitbread Award for Poetry), Here Nor There (1999) and Outliving (2003). His Selected Poems was published by Faber in 2008. Bernard will be exploring the life and work of Yeats, placing him in literary and cultural context.
David Dwan is Fellow and Tutor of English at Hertford College Oxford. He has a particular interest in Irish writing. His first book – The Great Community (Field Day, 2008) – examined the evolution of cultural nationalism in Ireland. WB Yeats was the central figure of the book. David was Co-Editor of The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). David will be looking in detail at themes of nationalism and mysticism in Yeats’s poetry.
Miriam Gamble is an acclaimed poet and lecturer in Creative Writing at Edinburgh University. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2007, and the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award in 2010. Her first book-length collection, The Squirrels Are Dead (Bloodaxe) won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011. Her second collection, Pirate Music, was published by Bloodaxe in 2014. Miriam will be discussing Yeats’s influence on later generations of Irish poets.
Fiona Shaw is one of the most recognised actors of her generation, known for both her theatre work (Hedda Gabler, Medea, Mother Courage, Machinal) and for her film work (Harry Potter series, Three Men and A Little Lady). She has also directed for English National Opera. In the 2014/15 season she returns to ENO to direct The Marriage of Figaro and to Glyndebourne to direct The Rape of Lucretia. She was awarded CBE for services to Drama in 2001. Fiona will be reading Yeats’s poetry and talking about its wider influence.
Poet in the City is an organisation which creates new audiences for poetry through an eclectic programme of events, new commissions and education work. www.poetinthecity.co.uk