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News & Programs

Recent and upcoming programs are listed in this section. Reserve attendance as required. Earlier programs are listed under Past Events. 

FEBRUARY 1ST PROGRAM, ALL WELCOME

Yeats vs Shaw’s "John Bull’s Other Island" 

Thursday, February 1st, 6 p.m.

FREE program, followed by optional reception

($15, cash or check only, at the door).

Arts Alliance of Resident Theatres (A.R.T.)

520 Eighth Ave. (between 36th/37th Sts.), third floor.
Reservations at https://gingoldgroup.org/shaw-and-yeats/

This joint program with the Gingold Theatrical Group features David Staller, GTC artistic director, who will lead a lively discussion about “John Bull’s Other Island,” one of Shaw's most rollicking comedies and his only 'Irish' play. Yeats commissioned Shaw to write a play to open the Abbey Theatre in 1904, but rejected it, claiming its approach to “The Irish Question” was far too comedic. Shaw then had Harley Granville Parker produce and star in the play at London's Royal Court Theatre, where it was praised for its ironic lampooning of the British Empire and the empire’s failure to address socio-political issues regarding Ireland. At a Royal Command Performance for King Edward VII, he is reported to have laughed so hard he broke his chair.

 

Themes of the play include the struggle for a Free Ireland, colonialism, women's rights, sexuality, class systems, and education. Here’s a link to read it: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3612/3612-h/3612-h.htm. Shaw and Yeats, two brilliant Irishmen determined to use their artistic voice for the greater good, remained jovial friends in spite of their different visions of art in our world.

 

Friday, January 26 - Sunday, January 28: Yeats Winter School at Sligo Park Hotel in Ireland. Details coming at YeatsSociety.com.  

 

Still to Come in 2024 

Early April (date to be announced), Readings marking Poetry Month and presentation of the Yeats Poetry Prize by competition judge January Gill O'Neil. At Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 East 17 Street at Park Avenue South. Competition begins November 1st. See Awards section on this site.

Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: A Taste of the Yeats Summer School at NYU Glucksman Ireland House. Details to come.

Thursday, July 11- Friday, July 19: 65th Yeats International Summer School in Ireland. Details coming at YeatsSociety.com.

More programs to be announced later.

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Canadian folksinger-songwriter Loreena McKennitt (right) visited the National Arts Club October 19 to hear about Yeats connections (she's a fan) to NAC and NYC from Yeats Society president Andrew McGowan (left). Here they stand with a sculpture by NAC member Paul Manship, who was one of the artists who submitted designs for the new Irish Republic's coinage, to be judged by a committee headed by Senator Yeats. That night at her concert at Town Hall, she mentioned the visit, as an introduction to her version of Yeats's "The Stolen Child."

Yeats LibraryIn the late ’90s, the Grand Central Partnership transformed East 41st Street

Yeats Poem Plaque in New York City on Library Way

In the late ’90s, the Grand Central Partnership transformed East 41st Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue into a dramatic promenade to the New York Public Library’s majestic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the length of which is regularly studded with bronze sidewalk plaques featuring quotes from literature and poetry and the whole of which is now known as “Library Way.” 

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