Sligo is set to host its inaugural celebration of the life and legacy of W.B. Yeats on June 16th, Yeats’ birthday. ‘Yeats Day’ will feature events throughout the day to celebrate and remember the works of Yeats in the places that were so near and dear to his heart.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the president of the Yeats Society, Joe Cox, has worked for many years to see his dream of a celebratory day of all things Yeats come true. "He [Yeats] is a wonderful poet and we in Sligo are proud of him and want to share his work and raise his profile, especially among children," said Cox.

Organizers for the first ever event said that the day “is designed to set the spirit of the writers free and to encourage young and old to come out on the streets in celebration of the poet.” Many different local groups have come together in order to facilitate the first ever Yeats Day, which is being funded by the Department of the Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and Failte Ireland.

Drumcliffe, where Yeats is buried, will be the spot that the event will officially commence on June 16th Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan playing host there.

Sligo senator Susan O'Keeffe  said that she is very much looking forward to Yeats Day, an event she feels has been long in the making. “I am delighted to build this day in collaboration with so many people and organisations so that we can celebrate this wonderful poet in Sligo and in time across the world.”

For more information on Yeats Day, go here.


W.B. Yeats in 1932Bettmann/Corbis