William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature always looked west. Yeats & the West considers what the west meant to him, and what that means for us.
For W.B. Yeats the west of Ireland was foundational. Sligo was his family home, and Galway was where he brought his own family. Significant events of his life were played out there; collaborations that changed his work were formed there.
The west of Ireland was the wellspring of Yeats’s imagination. A landscape of islands, stones, and solitary trees was the landscape of his poetry. The culture of the west, its history, its traditions of craft, story, and song shaped his sense of a past worth reviving and a present worth honouring, and by doing so shaped modern Ireland. Through images, words, film, and sound, using rare material from NUI Galway’s collections, and exclusive items from the Model’s collections and around the world, Yeats & the West tells anew an old story: a story of going west to find those places, real and imaginative, that change our sense of where and who we are.