In­ter­na­tional guests en­joy top line-up at Yeats event

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

The 59 th Yeats Sum­mer School brought vis­i­tors to Sligo from near and far. Stu­dents at­tended from South Korea, Tai­wan, Ja­pan, US, UK, Italy and from Cork, Belfast, Dublin, Gal­way and Sligo.

The ten-day event, now in its 59 th year was opened by jour­nal­ist and au­thor Fin­tan O’ Toole and a spe­cially com­mis­sioned poetry per­for­mance was de­liv­ered by the So­ci­ety’s poet in res­i­dence Alice Lyons and friends.

A spe­cial gift pre­sen­ta­tion was made to each of the for­mer Coun­cil mem­bers of the So­ci­ety to hon­our and thank them for their great work over many years and the Sligo Tourist Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion hosted a gor­geous din­ner at the Glass House ho­tel for the stu­dents.

Daily lec­tures and sem­i­nars with lec­tur­ers from around the globe were led by co-di­rec­tors Pro­fes­sor Matthew Camp­bell from York Univer­sity and Dr Lau­ren Ar­ring­ton from Univer­sity of Liver­pool.

The school of­fered a wide va­ri­ety of walks in the stun­ning Sligo land­scape, to Car­row­more, Knocknarea, Rosses Point and Slish­wood with ar­chae­ol­o­gists Martin Ti­money and Auriel Robin­son, tour guide David Law­less, Yeat­sian Martin En­right and for­mer di­rec­tor of the So­ci­ety Stella Mew brought the stu­dents to see Bal­liso­dare’s fa­mous Sal­ley Gar­dens.

The ever won­der­ful Rose of In­n­is­free fer­ried the stu­dents across Lough Gill to the mag­i­cal Lake Isle of In­n­is­free, with poetry read­ings led by Martin En­right. And mem­bers of the school joined with the pub­lic in a re­ally vi­brant open mic with much mu­si­cal and po­etic tal­ent on dis­play.

Distin­guished writ­ers and po­ets Mike McCormack, Leon­tia Flynn and Martin Dyar read from their work and Gallery Press ed­i­tor and poet Peter Fal­lon joined po­ets JT Welch, Kelly Sul­li­van and Aifric MacAodha in a shared read­ing at the lovely Methodist Church in Wine Street.

Peter Fal­lon also launched the beau­ti­ful new Col­lected Poems of Der­mot Healy, pub­lished by Gallery with the beau­ti­ful cover paint­ing, The Poet’s House by the late artist Sean Mc­Sweeney.

The first Sum­mer School Sa­lon was hosted by RTE’s Myles Dun­gan with Ju­dith Palmer from the Poetry So­ci­ety UK, Dr Nerys Wil­liams from the UCD and Prof Barry McCrea from Notre Dame Univer­sity. It ad­dressed the com­plex is­sue of how cul­tural iden­tity will be af­fected by Brexit and gave rise to much an­i­mated dis­cus­sion and de­bate.

Stu­dents also en­joyed Leitrim-based doc­u­men­tary maker Johnny Go­gan’s film about Hu­bert Butler - Wit­ness to the Fu­ture, along with gor­geous food sup­plied by Cafe Fleur. Ais­teoire Bhinn Ghul­bain gave a stir­ring per­for­mance in Ir­ish of Yeats’ com­edy The Pot of Broth, to much laugh­ter - de­spite the lan­guage bar­rier. It was trans­lated by Yeats So­ci­ety mem­ber Bri­ain O’Suilleb­hain

Tom and Kate Gavin played a lovely set of reels and jigs at lunchtime in the Yeats build­ing and the Curlew The­atre Com­pany trav­elled from Gal­way to per­form The Loves of Lady Gre­gory - a fas­ci­nat­ing ac­count of the peo­ple she loved dur­ing her long life.

The Hamil­ton Gallery hosted a re­cep­tion for stu­dents.

Eily Kil­gan­non and three of her stu­dents Eva Mur­ray, Eve Lunn and Sadbhb Gowran, along with Owen Eglin­ton, Pa­trick Crow­ley, Matthew and Domenic Sun­tra­pak per­formed a great re­con­struc­tion of the Gore-Booth sis­ters first suf­frage meet­ing in 1896 at beau­ti­ful Lis­sadell Church, with en­thu­si­as­tic and noisy au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion. Deirdre Lunn pro­duced cos­tumes, hair and makeup so au­then­tic that we were trans­ported ef­fort­lessly back across the decades.

The School closed with a re­cep­tion and the breath­tak­ing per­for­mance of WB Yeats’ play Pur­ga­tory by the Blue Rain­coat The­atre Com­pany and part of the Tread Softly Fes­ti­val which of­fered a huge ar­ray of walks, lit­er­a­ture, read­ings and drama across the county along­side the Sum­mer School. Next year - July 25 th - Au­gust 2nd 2019, will mark the 60 th school, mak­ing it (prob­a­bly) the old­est sum­mer school in the world!

MMar­tini EEn­right,ih AAnne CliClin­ton, DDr BBren­dan McCormack, Inset: ~Jour­nal­ist Fin­tan O’Toole

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