Yeats Day

Yeats Day Events in Sligo – Yeats2015

The highlight of the Yeats2015 calendar: Yeats Day will be celebrated across Sligo this June, which will be 150 years since the poet’s birth on June 13th in 1865.

Yeats Day will be marked by a four day celebration.

See below a sample of the events taking place across County Sligo from June 11-14.

Get a full view of events from Yeats2015 and

Eimear McBride, Hawk’s Well Theatre

Thursday June 11, 5.30pm

Eimear McBride’s debut novel, A Girl is a Half- formed Thing won the coveted Goldsmiths Prize in 2013 and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2014. Join us for an intimate conversation with Eithne Hand.

Adm Free

Booking: 071–9161518

Yeats2015 Nobel Dinner 
Thursday June 11, 8pm

The Nobel Dinner at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Sligo will launch this year’s special Sligo Yeats Day celebrations, marking the 150th birthday of Nobel poet, W.B. Yeats on June 13th 1865.

The Nobel dinner will incorporate a literary and musical experience to savour. Guest of honour at the dinner will be Edna O’Brien, ‘Grande Dame’ of Irish literature.

The Nobel Dinner is organised by Yeats Day in collaboration with St Angela’s College. It is being sponsored by The Radisson Blu Hotel Sligo.

Tickets €45 available from Radisson Blu Hotel 0719140008 or


Thurs June 11 to Sunday June 14, 10 am to 6pm

Sat June 13th Tour at 2pm

The Model, home of The Niland Collection, is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts centres. Built in 1862 as a Model School, this award-winning building is home to the impressive Niland Collection of art, one of the most notable collections in Ireland and featuring works by John and Jack B. Yeats, Estella Solomons, Paul Henry and Louis Le LeBrocquy among others.

More at

The Hawks Well Poetry Competitions

Children’s Poet of the Year Competition

Children are invited to write a 5 line poem. This year’s title is The Crazed Girl. 

The overall winner will read their poem at the Knocknarea Arena as part of Yeats Day celebrations, Saturday evening, 13th June.

iYeats Poetry Competition

This annual poetry competition has won a prestigious reputation for the calibre of both entrants and judges. Entries now accepted for 2015 which will award €800 in prizes.
Closing date for entries: Wed 1st July

See for details

Druid Shakespeare, Hawk’s Well Theatre

Tues 9 June, Part 1, 7.30pm
Wed 10 June, Part 2, 7.30pm
Sat 13 June, Cycle, 2pm
DruidShakespeare is an epic theatre event that condenses four action-packed plays – Richard II, Henry IV (Parts 1 & 2), and Henry V – into one thrilling drama played out over six hours. Shakespeare’s tales of ambition, destruction, responsibility and rebellion are performed with an exceptional cast, live music, thrilling drama and a rousing parade of characters including one of Shakespeare’s greatest comic creations, Falstaff.
Cycle €60/52conc.
€6.50 extra with food
Single performances
Tues/Wed €30/26conc.
Booking: or call 071–916 1518
Yeats Day Architecture Prize 2015, The Model

Friday June 12, 8pm

Commissioned by the Institute of Technology Sligo, The Model Sligo and Hazelwood Demesne Ltd in collaboration with Sligo County Council. submissions were invited for conceptual interpretations of WB Yeats’ poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
The Architectural Competition was open to national and international practitioners of architecture and art, and proposed an architectural intervention for the island which mediates between Yeats’ poetic vision and contemporary architectural ideas.
The winning design, Square Moon by shindesignworks, an architecture team based in London and Korea, will be unveiled on Friday June 12th; a brief realisation of Yeats’ dream and a special gift for his 150th birthday. It will remain on the island until August.
Yeats Day Talks, Pollexfen House

Daniel Mulhall – “WB Yeats and the Ireland of his time.”

Pollexfen House, Fri June 12, 2pm

Daniel Mulhall is the Irish Ambassador based in London since 2013. Among his interests are Irish history and literature, on which he has published many articles and a book, A New Day Dawning: A Portrait of Ireland in 1900.


Dr. Colette Kavanagh – “Yeats and Women”

Pollexfen House, Fri June 12 6pm

Yeats fell in love easily, and several women played a vital role in his life as a poet. Dr. Colette Kavanagh lectures internationally on subjects relating to Ireland’s cultural heritage and poetic expression
Magic Music at dusk

Sligo Abbey, Abbey St.

Fri June 12, 7.30pm

Join No Crows musicians Anna Houston, Edie Lee, Felip Carbonell, and Ray Coen will mark the dusk of Yeats Day in the beautiful 13th century Dominican Friary, Sligo Abbey.

Adm Free

More about Pollexfen House and Yeats from Sligo Tourism here

Yeats Stamp

GPO, O’Connell Street, Dublin,  Friday 12 June, 12noon

An Post unveils its special commemorative Yeats stamp.

Adm Free

Lily, Lolly Craft Fest Opening

Yeats Memorial Building

Fri, June 12, 5pm

Prize giving for Primary Colours, St. Angela’s College Lily Yeats Embroidery and Sligo Arts Service Open Call Student Print

WB Yeats had two sisters Susan and Elizabeth, affectionately known as Lily and Lolly, who not only published many great Irish writers of their time including WB through their printing company Cuala Press, but were also highly regarded craft practitioners internationally. The LilyLolly Craftfest looks to our heritage and is inspired to revive the undoubted legacy that Susan and Elizabeth Yeats left to Irish craft by sharing knowledge and skills between the generations.
Adm Free

For more details visit the Lilylolly facebook page.

No Crows @ The Abbey

Fri, June 12, 7.30pm

Adm Free

More about No Crows at

Psychic Lighthouse, The Model

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of WB Yeats, The Model is delighted to present Psychic Lighthouse, an exhibition that takes his interest in the practice of magic and the quest for enlightenment as it’s point of departure. Psychic Lighthouse features the work of a number of Irish and international contemporary artists, who investigate ritual, spiritualism and occult practices – to question the boundary between the metaphysical and material worlds.

Opening Friday 12 June, 9pm. Exhibition continues Tuesday to Sunday until 30th August

Adm Free.

More from The Model website

Candlelit Salon, The Model

The Model is delighted to host a magical evening of music and conversation with renowned guests, including Prof Margaret Mills Harper, Mark Patrick Hederman, Susan Hiller, & Vincent Woods, with music and song performed by Emer Mayock and Mary McPartlan.

The evening harks back to the ‘salons’ of the late Victorian age, which focused on conversation and conviviality. The Salon will bring together a number of distinguished guests to discuss ideas stemming from the core concerns of WB Yeats’s life and work – literature, politics and esotericism.

Fri, June 12, 9 pm

Tickets €15/€12 / 071 – 9141405

Yeats family inspired exhibition opening

Friday 12th June 5pm – Hyde Bridge Gallery

‘The light and the half light’

Friday 12th, Nazareth Care Village

‘The light and the half light’ is an exhibition based on WB Yeat’s poem ‘Cloths of Heaven’ by textile artists Bernie Gallagher and Theresa Kelly

Exhibition continues until 31st July
‘Vivid Cloths’, Teach Ban Gallery, Drumcliffe

Friday 5th – 30th June, Teach Ban Gallery, Drumcliffe

A mixed media textile exhibition by “Textile Collective” a group of creative textile artists & designers

The textile artists will be present in the gallery to meet the public and discuss the work. After viewing the exhibition you are invited to take part in an interactive workshop The Cloths of Heaven . A cloth will be on display which members of the public are invited to help create by making their mark in print or stitch on the Cloth to ’fulfill’ Yeats wishes.

Exhibition continues until 30th June

Breakfast on Lough Gill

A boat trip across Lough Gill to the Lake Isle of Inisfree casts off Yeats Day with music, poetry and breakfast on board.

Sat June 13, 8am

Departure Point Doorly Park Pier

Tickets €40

Additional trips at 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 3.30pm and 5pm. Tickets €15

Booking is essential. Email Tel: 087 2598869

Dawn to Dusk Yeats, OSD Building

Sligo Drama Circle’s marathon reading of Yeats poetry

Sat, June 13, 8 am to 8pm

Adm Free

More from Sligo Drama Circle

Poetry Train, Dublin to Sligo

Sat June 13, 11am

Train departs Dublin Connolly at 11am

The Poetry Train will leave Connolly Station in Dublin for Sligo at 11am on Yeats Day.  Passengers will be able to enjoy some of the poet’s finest work on their journey.

More info from

The Living Statue

WB Yeats Memorial Statue, Stephen St.

Sat June 13, 11.30am

Occult-inspired installation by IADT students at the famous WB Yeats statue, Ulster Bank, Stephen St.
Will & Jack’s Storytime for Children
Saturday 13 June, The Hamilton Gallery, 12noon
Presented by StoryArt Productions.
Join the Yeats brothers, William and Jack who will entertain us with stories of beauty and magic for the young and young at heart. Drawing inspiration from the work of WB Yeats, performer John Carty and Illustrator Wayne O’Connor have created a delightful interactive storytelling experience for children 5+.
Adm Free
Invited Artists – Impressions and Portraits of W.B. Yeats

Opening Sat June 13, 1pm, The Hamilton Gallery

In 2014, Hamilton Gallery approached over 100 of Ireland’s leading and emerging contemporary artists with an invitation to create a 20 X 20 cm canvas inspired by the work of the poet WB Yeats and his work.

Accordingly Impressions and Portraits of W.B. Yeats exhibition is a prescient comprehensive artistic response to the work of one of our literary giants in the 75 years since his death.

Exhibition runs until Aug 27th

Entwined Memories exhibition at the Model

Saturday 13 June
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland will co-ordinate the 5th exhibition of textiles in conjunction with member organisations, Guilds Associations Networks and Societies. The work in this exhibition is made in response to memories, threads and stories of life; nostalgic tales, reminiscence, meditative, reflective, reliving, evocative, interwoven, rites of passage, social history and time.
Exhibition continues until 12th July
Yeats Choral, Sligo County Library

Sat June 13, 12noon

Children from Eily Kilgannon School of Drama and Anne Carton Creche perform Yeats’ poetry at the County Library’s garden stage. Includes a performance of Yeats’ The Cat and the Moon 

Adm Free

WB Yeats in The Land of Heart’s Desire

City Hall, 4pm
A performance by Eily Kilgannon’s School of Drama
Adm Free
Yeats Pop-Up poetry, Various Venues

Sat June 13, 1.30 – 2.30pm

Adm Free

Yeats All Day, Hargadon’s Bar

A special reading of Yeats’ poetry is happening on almost every day this year* in one of Sligo’s oldest pubs; Hargadon Bros and everyone is welcome to take part. For Yeats Day, poetry readings will take place all day.

Sat June 13, 12noon to midnight

Adm Free

Bookings: 071-9153714

More about Yeats at One and how to get involved.

Happy Birthday Mr. Yeats

Sat, June 13, 2pm to 7pm

A day long street celebration in honour of Yeats 150th birthday. Join us for street performances by Cillian Rogers of Workhouse Studios, Luxe and Branching Out Theatre Group. Live music, street performance, LilyLolly Craftfest demonstrations, carnival and one giant birthday cake.

Adm Free

Branching Out’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
Yeats Memorial Building, 3pm
Poetry @ Drumcliffe Church

Saturday, June 13, 4pm

Feis Yeats Cup winners and local poets gather to read poetry, at Yeats’ grave, Drumcliffe. Poetry Ireland will present the prize to the winning Yeats Day poet.

Solicitors Callan Tansey, announce the winner of the Yeats’ Day Essay Competition at Drumcliffe, with journalist John Waters followed by tea at the Drumcliffe Tea House.

Adm Free

Bloom in the Park

Saturday, June 13, The Model

The Bloom in the Park Lake Isle of Innisfree Garden designed by Secret Gardens of Sligo comes home.
Adm Free
The Poet Laureate and National Poets Event

Knocknarea Arena

Sat June 13, 8.30pm

This event features Chair of Irish Poetry, Paula Meehan; Poet Laureate of England, Carol Ann Duffy; the National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke; the National Poet of Scotland,  Liz Lochead; the London Laureate, Aisling Fahey and Northern Irish Poet , Sinead Morrissey in the presence of President Michael D. Higgin’s, patron of Yeats 2015.

The evening will also feature young musicians and poets including the winner of Children’s Poet of the Year; Sligo based poet Paul McMahon and special guest appearances by renowned harpist Seana Davey; musicians Mary MacPartlan and Aidan Brennan. MC on the night is poet, prose writer, editor and literary critic Theo Dorgan

Tickets €15/10

More info and how to book tickets here.

Yeats Day Talks, Pollexfen House

Pollexfen House, Sat June 13


Prof Margaret Mills Harper – “Yeats and the power of the imagination”

Margaret Mills Harper is Glucksman Professor of Contemporary Writing in English at the University of Limerick. She is the author of The Aristocracy of Art: Joyce and Wolfe and Wisdom of Two: The Spiritual and Literary Collaboration of George and WB Yeats and is the Director of the Yeats International Summer School.


Dr. Keith Hopper – “A Sense of Place: W.B. Yeats and ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’”

A native of Sligo town, Keith currently teaches Literature and Film Studies for Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education, and is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Irish Studies at St Mary’s University, London. This talk will outline the origins and evolution of The Lake Isle of Innisfree.


Conor Brady – “Mr Yeats Assists the Police with their Inquiries; A journey into the criminal underworld of 1880s Dublin.
Conor Brady is author of the Joe Swallow crime novels, set in Dublin in the 1880s. Brady was editor of The Irish Times from 1986 to 2002. He is a weekly columnist with The Sunday Times.


Mary Plunkett, Words & Fragments Exhibition

Sat 13 June – Wed 29 July, The Hawk’s Well Theatre

Mary Plunkett is a printmaker who specialises in letterpress and lino cut printing and has a particular interest in book arts. For this exhibition she will be creating books and prints based on the writings of W. B. Yeats and in the letterpress printing tradition of Elizabeth Yeats and the Cuala press.

Exhibition continues until 29th July
Seatrails – WB Trail for Yeats2015
Saturday 12 June, 2pm – 3:30pm
€ 20 Adult/€10 Child
A short guided walk with marine archaeologist Auriel Robinson around Rosses Point.
Also on Sunday 13th June
Intergenerational Arts Project – Window Textile Exhibition
Ballymote Library, Teeling St., Ballymote
The participants of the Ballymote Intergenerational Arts Project, Colaiste Muire Secondary School & Ballymote Nursing Unit invite you to view their window exhibition of textile art.
Exhibition continues until 23rd June
Great Yeats Birthday Party
Saturday 13 June, Lissadell House, Ballinfull
An exciting day long programme of activities focused between the coach house and house, with outdoor activities on the lawn. Special food experiences for all tastes and all the family.
Programme highlights include:
  • Unveiling of the Poetry Plaque with poem On a Political Prisoner
  • Yeats Dawn Cycle Race -Wild Atlantic Wheels.
  • Yeats’ Muses by the Curlew Theatre Company
  • Poetry recitations and writers literary talks.
  • Traditional Sean Nos singers from Clare Island.
  • Football exhibition matches.
  • Music by a variety of different artists.
  • Woodland poetry walk.
  • Poetry and Art competitions.
Ticket sales at the gate.
More information:
‘Fall of the Dew’  

Opening June 12th at 5pm, Hyde Bridge Gallery, Yeats Society Building

Exhibition of artworks by artists & craft practitioners in the Northwest. The work is inspired by Susan and Elizabeth Yeats and their love of plants & flowers, organic motif, textiles and books.
Exhibition continues until 27th June
Primary Colours – Mixed Media Children’s Exhibition

Hyde Bridge Gallery, Second Floor Gallery, Yeats Society Building – Opening June 12th at 5pm

Primary Colours is an exciting children’s arts education programme developed around the primary school visual arts curriculum. The programme is delivered by a panel of practising artists on behalf of Sligo Arts Service,Sligo County Council. Over 250 National School Children have created artworks inspired by the Yeats sisters.
Exhibition continues until 27thJune
BloomsDay @ Yeats

Yeats Memorial Building

Sun June 14, 2pm

Paul Murray – James Joyce and Me
A self penned performance which explores Murray’s family relationship with Joyce. The piece includes song and readings from Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Finnegan’s Wake.

Adm Free

The Model Family Day

Sunday June 14, 1 to 3pm

The Model  is holding a very special Yeatsian themed Family Day in association with Yeats Day, the LilyLolly Craftfest and Só Sligo.

12.30pm – 2.30pm
Subadesigns Workshop – Sue Basler
An opportunity for families to create unique, enchanting interpretations of the poetry of WB Yeats in her Wet Felting workshop.
1pm – 3pm, Fruit Carving Workshop
In association with Sò Sligo Food and Cultural Festival. Join Fior di Zucca for a workshop which combines imagination, creativity, fruit and veg – art made from food.
The Galleries will be the venue for magical storytelling sessions inspired by Yeats’ poetry.
Daughters of Emer Performance in The Model Theatre, 2pm
The Story of Lily and Lolly Yeats written and directed by John Carty performed by Nichola MacEvilly and Margaret Kilcoyne The lives and work of Susan and Elizabeth Yeats (Lily and Lolly) will also be uniquely celebrated during the festival, with a warm and humorous new dramatisation of their lives. Commissioned by the LilyLolly Craftfest with the support of Yeats 2015, the dramatisation draws us into the challenging and creative lives of the two sisters, with an occasional wry insight and commentary on the antics of their brothers William and Jack.
Adm Free
Hazelwood Poetry Walk

Sun June 14, 3pm

Join Hazelwood Heritage Society for a guided walk with stories and Yeats’ poetry. Meet at Hazelwood Car Park.

Yeats Day Concert

Sun June 14, 6pm, The Model

Eunjoo Goh (soprano), Ramona Sakalauskaite (harp) and Aengus Kerrin (piano)
This recital will celebrate Yeats’ life and work through music and song. Traditional Irish songs inspired Yeats’ writing, most famously in poems such as Down by the Salley Gardens and The Fiddler of Dooney. A selection of Moore’s Melodies will recreate the musical culture during Yeats’ life. These popular, traditional songs were arranged as art songs for voice and piano by composers such as Stanford, Hughes and Britten, using traditional airs in new, creative ways.
Admission: €5
Booking: or 071 914 1405
Picnic @ Dooney Rock

Sun June 14, 3pm

Téada present ‘Where Benbulben Sets the Scene’

Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sun June 14, 8pm

A celebration of W.B. Yeats’ strong ties with Sligo, this show marries music and verse as we journey around the Sligo of Yeats’s poetry.

Through a combination of spoken word, song by Séamus Begley, traditional music of Sligo performed by Téada, sean-nós and contemporary dance, and evocative landscape photography we find ourselves immersed in the extraordinary work of Yeats and spellbound by a wonderful combination of rhythm and rhyme.

Tickets: €25/€20/€12.50 U18’s

More information at

Impressions and Portraits of W.B. Yeats invited artists exhibition

Saturday 13th June –  29th Aug 29th – opening at 1pm, Hamilton Gallery

Hamilton Gallery invited over 100 of Ireland’s leading and emerging contemporary visual artists to create a 20 X 20 cm canvas inspired by the writings of WB Yeats. An overwhelming response has resulted in this exhibition “Impressions and Portraits of WB Yeats”. It is a comprehensive and compelling contemporary response by the visual artists of Ireland to the work of one of our literary giants for his 150th birthday.
Exhibition continues until 29th August.
Words & Fragments by Mary Plunkett

Tuesday 2nd June – 29th July, Hamilton Gallery OFFSITE – Hawks Well Theatre

Mary Plunkett printmaker, who will create books and prints based on the writings of WB Yeats, in the letterpress printing tradition of Elizabeth Yeats and the Cuala press

Sharing thoughts with Elizabeth Yeats

Saturday 13th June – 8th July, Hamilton Gallery OFFSITE – Factory Performance Space

Sharing thoughts with Elizabeth Yeats by Grainne Cuffe and Bettina Seitz.

Using traditional etching methods Gráinne Cuffe has produced a series of tulips, in limited editions. Describing her work as ‘loosely botanical’, Gráinne shares a love for the graphic qualities of the tulip with Elizabeth Yeats. Bettina Seitz reflects in her sculptures in resin and fiberglass on the art manuals Elementary Brushwork and Brushwork studies of flowers, fruit and animals by Elizabeth Corbett Yeats and her influence on the artists Louis and Melanie Le Brocquy, whom she had taught.
Exhibition continues until 20th June

Further Info:

Further information on Yeats Day Sligo Events at Yeats2015

More from Yeats Day from the YeatsDay website

Follow updates via #YeatsDay and #Yeats2015