The Yeats Society, Sligo is close to my heart. It was one of the first places I worked for as a Fáilte Ireland mentor, well over ten years ago. Sligo is a beautiful county; everything I had ever dreamed Ireland would be. I love poetry and although then I probably only knew two quotations from Yeats, I found he was very much my sort of poet. It was a delight.
I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea. From ‘The White Birds’ by WB Yeats
It was even more of a delight to be invited back to help the Yeats Society develop their vision for reimagining the visitor experience at their fine, but somewhat challenging, building for the 21st century. They are a talented, inspired and challenging group and we worked hard together for two long days; proposing, reviewing, questioning, refining, ditching, reinventing and confirming. In the end we had a proposal and a document that we all proud of and hope can attract the funding needed.
Yeats was an extraordinary man who lived an extraordinary life. Many of his stories remain untold or erased.
The lives of his family, particularly his two sisters, have been, maybe understandably, overshadowed by his brilliance and that of his brother, the painter Jack Yeats. The Yeats Society are determined to create new spaces to tell these stories in ways that will connect with visitors from Ireland and around the world and to show how Yeats found a lifetime of inspiration in the Sligo landscape and its stories.