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National Library to host series of literary events in June
Featured, Press Releases | 2nd June 2017


Thursday, 1st June 2017

National Library to host series of literary events in June

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has today (01.06.17) announced that it will host a series of literary events throughout the month of June. The programme will be headlined by the annual Joseph Hassett Yeats Lecture, delivered by noted academic, Bernard O’Donoghue.

Professor O’Donoghue’s lecture is entitled ‘Yeats – the political mystic’ and will examine the political and the occult in the poet’s work. The lecture will take place at 7pm on Tuesday, 13th June, the anniversary of Yeats’ birth in 1865. No booking is required.

Further events range from lectures and exhibition tours, plays and performances, to a special pop-up display. The line-up of activities will focus on WB Yeats and James Joyce, and all events will take place at the NLI:

  • A display of letters to mark WB Yeats’ birthday and Bloomsday. To mark WB Yeats’ birthday and Bloomsday the NLI will show a selection of newly acquired letters to Yeats from James Joyce. They are part of an exceptional series discussing Joyce’s literary work including Exiles, Dubliners and Ulysses and also discussing Yeats’ work. The letters span almost 24 years of correspondence and illuminate a deep literary friendship. Monday, 12th June – Saturday, 17th Admission free. No booking required.
  • ‘Noramollyannalivialucia: The Muse & Mister Joyce.’ A one-woman ‘play for voices’ featuring Nora Barnacle Joyce in her twilight years discussing her life with Joyce, performed by Curlew Theatre Company. Wednesday, 14th June, 7pm. Admission €5. No booking required.
  • ‘Bloomsday: Joyce at the Opera.’ A Bloomsday lecture/concert. Professor John McCourt will introduce music that was central to Joyce’s life and work. Presented in partnership with the Italian Institute of Culture, the ‘Associazione Triestina Amici della Lirica G. Viozzi’ and the Trieste Joyce School. Friday, 16th June, 1pm. Admission free. No booking required but places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
  • ‘From Yeats to Heaney: 140 years of Literature at the National Library of Ireland.’ This public lecture will see Professor Geraldine Higgins and Katherine McSharry (Head of Outreach at the NLI) discuss some of the writers who have been associated with the Library since it was founded. Tuesday, 20th June, 1pm. Admission free. No booking required.
  • ‘Yeats & the Irish Cultural Revival’ tour. This special tour of the Library’s Yeats exhibition will explore the poet’s contribution to the Irish Cultural Revival. Areas of Yeats’ life that will be discussed include his involvement with the Abbey Theatre, his partnership with Lady Gregory and his promotion of Irish history, culture, art and folktales throughout his life. Tuesday, 20th June, 2pm. Admission free. No booking required.

Speaking about the programme of literary events for June, Head of Outreach at the NLI, Katherine McSharry, said: “Literary celebrations take place at the Library throughout the year and are central to our events calendar, but we are delighted to offer our visitors a special programme in June. These events will focus particularly on two of our country’s most important writers: WB Yeats and James Joyce.

“We are particularly looking forward to welcoming Bernard O’Donoghue to the NLI for the fourth annual Joseph Hassett Yeats Lecture on 13th June, the anniversary of Yeats’ birth. His insights into the mystical and political sides of Yeats’s work are not to be missed. We’re also excited to be showcasing some of the recently acquired extraordinary letters from Joyce to Yeats in a pop-up display, offering a special glimpse into their long friendship.”

Further information about the NLI’s programme of events for June is available at: www.nli.ie.


 Contact: Louise Archbold, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-2601145

 Note to Editors

  • A video of the NLI’s Head of Outreach, Katherine McSharry speaking about the literary events taking place at the Library in June is available here: https://vimeo.com/218962716
  • A selection of images of Joyce and Yeats are available to use here: http://bit.ly/2rHtyZz

About the Library: The mission of the National Library of Ireland (NLI) is to collect, preserve, promote and make accessible the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland and to contribute to the provision of access to the larger universe of recorded knowledge.  It is open, free of charge, to all those who wish to consult the collections. The Office of the Chief Herald in Kildare Street and the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar are both part of the National Library.  Further information is available at www.nli.ie. Follow the NLI on Twitter @NLIreland, Facebook National Library of Ireland, Flickr on the Commons  and Vimeo.