Thoor Ballylee Poetry Competition
Write back to Yeats!
Thoor Ballylee extends an open invitation to new (or old) poets for a poem in response to Yeats’s lines a hundred years ago (1938) in his poem ‘Under Ben Bulben’ (edited a little, from Stanza V):
Irish poets, learn your trade
Sing the peasantry and then
Hard-riding country gentlemen…
Sing the lords and ladies gay
That were beaten into the clay
Through seven heroic centuries;
Cast your mind on other days
That we in coming days may be
Still the indomitable Irishry
W.B. Yeats, from ‘Under Ben Bulben’ (1938)
So. Are we still the indomitable Irishry??
One poem only per poet — no pseudonyms.
Add name and address/email/phone to submitted poem.
Poems should be under three minutes to say and must reach Galway Bay FM (firstname.lastname@example.org
) by Friday 29th September.
Up to three poets may be chosen.
The chosen poet or poets must be available to come and say or read the poem 7.30 on Saturday October 7th in Thoor Ballylee!
There will be a modest award for the poem which, in the opinion of the audience, best responds to Yeats’s poem.
Poetry Night Saturday 7th October 2017 also features:
Sarah Clancy, author of The Truth and Other Stories. This is Sarah’s third collection of poetry. In it she excavates the personal and psychological wreckage caused by an unrelenting recession in her native Ireland and further afield – with sacrificing the warmth, wit, or linguistic extremity for which she is known.
For Culture Night this Friday Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society hosts an evening of traditional music, song and dance at Thoor Ballylee.
Oiche Ceoil at Thoor Ballylee
Culture Night Friday September 22nd 2017
7.00 pm to 9.30 pm
Refreshments served. All welcome. Free event!
For Ireland’s nationwide festival of the arts, Culture Night, Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society hosts an evening of traditional music, song and dance at W.B. Yeats’s Norman stone tower.
Performing on the evening will be Gaillimh Theas Comhaltas, Gavin Dance Academy, renowned violinist Claire Egan, accordionist Eoin O Neill and guests.
Come along and join the excitement and witness the cultural richness of Galway’s finest performers, in a unique stone fireside setting restored and honoured by Ireland’s greatest poet.
The event is supported by Galway County Council, Oireachtas na Gaeilge & Arts. Culture night is brought to you by the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht & the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with Galway County Council.
Look out also for our closing season writers event 3pm Saturday 7th October with poet Sarah Clancy, novelist Lisa McInerney and performing poets..!
Join us for an exciting Saturday afternoon in which two of Ireland’s best-loved writers come to Thoor Ballylee to give us the benefit their words, wit, and wisdom.
Grand Dames at Thoor
& Rita Ann Higgins
with readings and discussion
3pm Saturday 9th September 2017
Tickets on the door €10 (concessions available)
These two storied writers give an afternoon’s entertainment talking over and reading from their work, and thinking about history, politics, and culture in Ireland and beyond.
Irish novelist and playwright Jennifer Johnston is the author of almost thirty books and plays, including The Old Jest (1979), recipient of the Whitbread Book Award, The Invisible Worm (1991), The Gingerbread Woman (2000), and recently Fathers and Son (2012), A Sixpenny Song (2013), and The Christmas Tree: A Play in Two Acts (2015). Her novels range in theme from depictions of the decline of Ascendancy Ireland and the events of the First World War and the Troubles to evocations of personal and familial sorrow in what Penelope Lively calls her ‘hallmark style … economic and staccato’. She also joined other Irish novelists like Roddy Doyle and Anne Enright as a key contributor to Dermot Bolger’s group of linked stories Finbar’s Hotel (1997). Born in Dublin, she is a member of Aosdana and in 2012 received the Irish Book Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.
Rita Ann Higgins is a poet and playwright born in Ballybrit, Galway, and the recipient of numerous prizes and fellowships for her work. Her poetry collections include Goddess on the Mervue Bus (1986) and Higher Purchase (1996) (both Salmon Poetry), An Awful Racket (2001), Ireland Is Changing Mother (2013), and most recently Tongulish (2016) (all Bloodaxe), as well as a recent excoriating and energizing poem about Galway’s City of Culture bid. She has been writer in residence at NUI Galway, received several Arts Council bursaries, and been visiting Professor and Honorary Fellow in institutions around the world from Texas to Hong Kong. A member of Aosdana, she is especially known for the empathetic undercurrent running through her verse and plays, her evocation of voices, and the power of her public readings, all drawn from her close connection to Galway city and county.
An update on the autumn 2017 opening hours for Thoor Ballylee. Come along, enjoy our exhibitions, climb the famous winding stair, pop into the poet’s bedroom, admire the stranger’s room, and take in the view from the top of the tower.
Or come and see us late for Culture Night, or join our last event of the season, the spectacular Poetry Slam. All before our winter closing on Sunday 8th October. Details below, we hope to see you soon!
Thoor Ballylee Opening Hours
Until Friday 8th September
Open 10 to 6 daily
Saturday 9th September until Saturday 7th October
Weekdays: 10 am to 2 pm
Weekends: 11 am to 5 pm
NB our upcoming events
JENNIFER JOHNSTON & RITA ANN HIGGINS: 3pm Saturday 9th September
CULTURE NIGHT: Friday 22 September (from 7pm late opening)
and the 2017 season final event
POETRY SLAM: Saturday 7th October
From Sunday 8th October 2017 the tower closes for the winter months. Till then all visitors receive the warmest of welcomes!