Future of the Yeats Summer School

 

Sir, – As current and former directors of the Yeats International Summer School, we were dismayed by the headline “Future of Yeats Summer School hangs in the balance” (News, June 13th).

For 62 years, the Yeats Summer School has thrived as a collaboration among lecturers, students, and volunteers. World-leading scholars of literature, history and society travel to meet students from every continent, rubbing shoulders in theatres and seminars or on famous hikes up Knocknarea or Ben Bulben.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the local community, Sligo has also been abuzz every summer with a festival of cultural events, including exhibitions, stagings of plays, traditional music sessions and readings by many of Ireland’s greatest writers. Throughout this extraordinarily rich activity, the Yeats Summer School has been in the midst of all.

In our experience, the values of the school are unique, based upon the generosity of scholars and writers as well as the willingness of volunteers, the hospitality of the city of Sligo and the extraordinary legacy of the Yeats family for the city and county. Working with minimal government support, the Yeats Society has hosted thousands of students and hundreds of university teachers over the more than 60 years of the summer school.

These are exceptional times, but we ask that the city of Sligo, the county and the State work to ensure the future financial stability of the Yeats Society and its hosting of the Yeats Summer School, one of Ireland and Europe’s foremost literary and educational events.

We ask that the school continues to celebrate the work of William Butler Yeats, to sing whatever is well made in Irish learning and culture. – Yours, etc,

CHARLES I ARMSTRONG,

(Director, Yeats

Summer School 2021,

Professor of English,

University of Agder,

Norway);

LAUREN ARRINGTON,

(Director, Yeats

Summer School 2021,

Professor of English,

Maynooth University);

JONATHAN ALLISON,

(Professor of English,

University of Kentucky);

MATTHEW

CAMPBELL,

(Professor of Modern

Literature, University

of York);

PATRICK CROTTY,

(Professor Emeritus,

University of Aberdeen);

ELIZABETH BUTLER

CULLINGFORD

(Professor of English,

University of Texas);

ANNE MARGARET

DANIEL,

Professor,

New School, New York City);

MARGARET

MILLS HARPER,

(Glucksman Chair

in Contemporary Writing

in English,

University of Limerick);

GERALDINE

HIGGINS,

(Professor of English,

Emory University);

COLBERT KEARNEY,

(Professor Emeritus,

University College Cork);

JOHN KELLY,

(Emeritus Fellow,

St John’s College Oxford);

LUCY McDIARMID,

(Marie Frazee-Baldassarre,

Professor of English,

Montclair State University);

RONAN McDONALD,

(Gerry Higgins Chair

of Irish Studies,

University of Melbourne);

MAUREEN MURPHY,

(Professor Emerita,

Hofstra University);

BERNARD O’DONOGHUE,

(Emeritus Fellow,

Wadham College, Oxford);

JAMES PETHICA,

(Professor of English,

Williams College);

ANTHONY ROCHE,

(Professor Emeritus,

University College Dublin);

RONALD SCHUCHARD,

(Goodrich C White Professor

Emeritus of English,

Emory University);

HELEN VENDLER,

(Porter University

Professor Emerita,

Harvard University).