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“W. B. Yeats at 150: A Celebration” at St. John Fisher College, N.Y.

November 19, 2015 - November 20, 2015

“W. B. Yeats at 150: A Celebration,”“Year of Yeats”

This year marks the 150th birthday anniversary of W.B. Yeats, and St. John Fisher College is commemorating the year with a two-day conference, “W. B. Yeats at 150: A Celebration,” held on Thursday, Nov. 19 and Friday, Nov. 20. Scheduled in conjunction with the 13th annual World Philosophy Day, the program explores one of Ireland’s most notable literary and historic figures.

The conference includes 13 sessions featuring lectures and readings by professors from Fisher, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Geneseo, and the Rochester Institute of Technology, along with noted Yeats scholars.

Joseph M. Hassett, who has written two books on Yeats, including W.B. Yeats and the Muses, will deliver a keynote speech at 3 p.m. on Friday, about the famed author’s time in Western New York.

Evening sessions include productions of two of Yeats’ one-act plays,Purgatory and At the Hawk’s Well, performed by the Irish Players of Rochester.

At Fisher, the “Year of Yeats” will continue into 2016 with a series of events featuring Irish actor Bosco Hogan, who will perform his one-man play based on the life of the famed poet. More details about Hogan’s trip to Rochester, scheduled for early March, will be released in the coming weeks.

Free and open to the public, all events during “W. B. Yeats at 150: A Celebration” are held in the Golisano Gateway or Basil 135. The conference is co-sponsored by the St. John Fisher College Department of Philosophy, Irish Studies Program, and the Visual and Performing Arts Minor.

Thursday Schedule of Events

8 to 9:20 a.m. Yeats at 150: His Continuing Significance
Ian Kennedy, Former Manager of the Yeats Society and Yeats Summer School, Sligo, Ireland (Skype Presentation): “Who Was W. B. Yeats?”

9:30 to 10:50 a.m. A Short Biography of W.B. Yeats
Tim Madigan (Philosophy) and students from the Political Philosophy class.

11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Yeats and Popular Culture
Dougie Bicket (Media and Communication) and students from the Irish and Scottish Film class.

1:45 – 3:05 PM   Yeats and Modernism
Ed O’Shea (English, SUNY Oswego): “The Multiple Conjunctions of W. B. Yeats’ Birth”; David White (Philosophy): “The Ins and Outs of Yeats and Theosophy.”

3:10 to 4:30 p.m. Yeats and Celtic Spirituality
Fr. William Graf (Religious Studies) and Fionnuala Regan (English) and students from the Irish History and Spirituality Learning Community class.

4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Readings from Yeats’ Poems
John Roche (English, RIT), Steve Huff (Tiger Bark Press), M.J. Iuppa (Visual and Performing Arts), Tim Madigan (Philosophy).

7 to 8 p.m. Irish Players of Rochester Production of Purgatory and At the Hawk’s Well
The Irish Players of Rochester will perform two one-act plays by W. B. Yeats. Purgatory is set outside a burned-down home, where the ghosts of the past will return to the ashes of the homestead, and the family must choose to remain in the cycle of decay or escape purgatory. At the Hawk’s Well is a rich, ritualistic play that dwells on themes of fate, youth and age, and the Heroic Identity.

Friday Schedule of Events

9:05 to 10 a.m. The Poetry of W.B. Yeats
Just Poets: The Poetry Group of Rochester: Roy Bent, David Sanders, and Bart White

10:10 to 11:05 a.m. Reading Yeats Then and Now: Editing the Early Poetry, Drama, and Fairy Tales
Rob Doggett (SUNY Geneseo), author of Deep-Rooted Things: Empire and Nation in the Poetry and Drama of William Butler Yeats (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006) and editor of When You Are Old: Early Poems, Plays and Fairy Tales of William Butler Yeats (Penguin Classics, 2015).

11:15 a.m. to noon Yeats and the Easter Uprising
David MacGregor (History) and students from the Contemporary Ireland class.

1:30 to 3 p.m. The Irish Literary Revival & the City of Light: Exhibit and Reception in the Lavery Library
Nancy Greco, instruction coordinator at Lavery Library and Kathleen DeLaney, archivist and special collections librarian at Canisius College. Exhibit on loan courtesy of Canisius and Joseph M. Hassett.

3 to 4:30 p.m. Keynote Address with Joseph Hassett: W. B. Yeats and Florence Farr in Western New York
A graduate of Harvard Law School and Canisius College, Joseph M. Hassett holds a doctoral degree in Anglo-Irish literature from University College Dublin and practices law in Washington, D.C. with the firm of Hogan Lovells. He has written two books on Yeats, the most recent of which, W. B. Yeats and the Muses, was published by Oxford University Press in 2010.

7 to 8 p.m. Irish Players of Rochester Production of Purgatory and At the Hawk’s Well
The Irish Players of Rochester will perform two one-act plays by W. B. Yeats. Purgatory is set outside a burned-down home, where the ghosts of the past will return to the ashes of the homestead, and the family must choose to remain in the cycle of decay or escape purgatory. At the Hawk’s Well is a rich, ritualistic play that dwells on themes of fate, youth and age, and the Heroic Identity.

Further information HERE

Photo Credit: By Bain News Service, from the George Grantham Baincollection at the Library of Congress, via Wikimedia Commons