JOHN BANVILLE

To Open

LADY GREGORY - YEATS AUTUMN GATHERING

25-27 September 2015

 

Described as "one of the most imaginative literary novelists writing in the English language today," John Banville will open The Lady Gregory - Yeats Autumn Gathering! It is fitting that Banville, whose stated ambition is to give his prose “the kind of denseness and thickness that poetry has”, should do the honours at this special 21st Gathering which celebrates poet W.B.Yeats. His novels include The Book of Evidence, The Sea, which won the 2005 Man Booker Prize, Ancient Light and, most recently, The Blue Guitar (to be published 6 September 2015). Awarded the Kafka Prize, the Austrian State Prize for Literature and the Prince of Asturias Award, Banville’s screen-writing credits include The Sea and Albert Nobbs.

 

 

Recognising the remarkable influence of Lady Augusta Gregory on the development of Irish Theatre and Literature, this twenty-first Gathering highlights her lifelong friendship and patronage of W. B. Yeats. Events will take place in Coole Park and Thoor Ballylee, Yeats’ 15th century castle-home.  Translator of Irish legends and folklore, writer of comedies and fantasies, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre, Lady Gregory was active in many artistic areas. Although her stunning home at Coole Park is no longer standing, several other buildings remain, together with a nature reserve and a well-designed interpretative centre. Within its historic walled garden, sits the famous ‘autograph tree’ where world-renowned authors such as Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Sean O’Casey, John Millington Synge and George Moore, carved their initials, marking Coole Park as the centre of the Irish Literary Revival in the 20th century.

 

Highlights of the Gathering include lectures, poetry readings, social events, plays, a guided walk through Coole Park woods and a tour, ‘Shopping with Mr. and Mrs. W. B.’ in Gort. The Chairman is Marc Conner, Professor of English and Associate Provost at Washington and Lee University, Virginia, USA. Speakers include:

 

Joe Hassett, Yeats Scholar and accomplished lawyer based in Washington, D.C., whose recent donation enabled the re-opening of Thoor Ballylee, will speak about ‘Friends Who Cannot Sup With Us: A Gathering of Shades  Around Coole, Duras, and Thoor Ballylee’. James Pethica , teaches Irish Studies, Drama and Modernism at Williams College, Massachusetts.  A former Director of the Yeats International Summer School, he will speak on Lady Gregory's Early Irish Writings. Award-winning poet, Martin Dyar, recently Writer-In-Residence at the University of Iowa, will discuss Yeats’ 1917 book The Wild Swans at Coole; a centenary-themed lecture engaging with the richness of Yeats’ writing and the historical events surrounding the book. Moya Cannon, former editor of Poetry Ireland and a member of Aosdána, will read Yeats and poems from her new collection, Keats Lives.

 

Thoor Ballylee will resound to special voices on Sunday when Cecily O’Neill, an internationally recognised authority on drama and arts education, will host ‘Theatre Nights: a participatory encounter with Conflicts and Controversies at the Abbey Theatre’, followed by the Curlew Theatre’s staging of ‘The Muse and Mr. Yeats’, a play by Eamon Grennan, Professor of English (retired), Vassar College, about the three important female muses in the poet’s life. Participants can continue to enjoy the Open Forum discussion, plus entertainment and the Candlelit Dinner on Saturday.

 

For further information and booking, contact Marion Cox, 1 Kiltiernan East, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway. Tel: 086-8053917 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and www.autumngathering.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PRESS RELEASE

Lady Gregory of Coole Park 

Autumn Gathering

 

26th, 27th & 28th September, 2014

 

 

 

Lectures Readings Theatre Entertainment

 

 

 

Opening Address by Marie Mullen, Internationally Famous Actress

 

 

 

Stories from the Trees

The highly successful Lady Gregory Autumn Gatherings celebrate their 20th birthday in Coole Park, Gort, Co. Galway from Friday to Sunday, 26 to 28 September 2014. Recognising the remarkable influence of Lady Augusta Gregory on the development of Irish Theatre and Literature, this twentieth Gathering highlights her unique influence on Irish arts and culture, and will also feature the Myths, Legends and Folklore of the trees in Coole, including the famous Autograph Tree.  

   

Translator of Irish legends and folklore, writer of comedies and fantasies, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre, and lifelong patron of William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory was active in many artistic areas. Although her stunning home at Coole Park is no longer standing, several other buildings remain and the area has been developed as a nature reserve and boasts a well-designed interpretative centre.  Within its historic walled garden, sits the famous ‘autograph tree’ where world-renowned authors such as Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Sean O’Casey, John Millington Synge and George Moore, carved their initials, marking Coole Park as the centre of the Irish Literary Revival in the 20th century.

Highlights of the Gathering include lectures, discussions, readings, social events, a guided walk through Coole Park woods and a special visit to the Flaggy Shore and Mount Vernon in the Burren, with readings of Heaney and Yeats.   Key speakers will include:

Joe Hassett, Yeats Scholar and accomplished lawyer, who will chair the Gathering; Nicholas Grene, Professor of English Literature, Trinity College Dublin, will revisit ‘The Municipal Gallery Revisited’, where images of rebellion, injustice and literary success are made personal in the pictures of friends who dedicated their lives to these causes;  Dr. Anna Pilz, Specialist Late 19th and Early 20th Century Irish Drama, will discuss Gregory, Joyce and the trees at Coole;  Niall MacCoitir, Author and Specialist in the Folklore of Irish Nature and Wildlife, will speak about the Myths, Legends and Folklore of Irish and Coole trees;  Eamon Grennan, Professor of English (retired), Vassar College, will read in honour of Seamus Heaney at the Flaggy Shore and Mount Vernon, summer home of Lady Gregory which features unusual fireplaces built by Augustus John; John Quinn, Celebrated Author, Radio and TV Producer, will present an audio documentary in praise of trees and will, especially, reminisce with Lois Tobin, co-founder of the Autumn Gathering, and her husband, Sean Tobin, about the many stories of the Gatherings.

Continuing the Gathering’s tradition of celebrating with the town and hinterland of Gort, additional events include a Street Festival on Sunday afternoon; theatre in Gort on Sunday night, ‘The Workhouse Ward’ performed by The Wild Swans Theatre Group, and ‘The Muse and Mr. Yeats’ performed by The Curlew Theatre Company, and an Art and Photographic Exhibition featuring Irish and Coole nature and trees!

The Gathering will be formally opened by Margaret Farrell, great-grandniece of Lady Gregory. Participants can continue to enjoy the Open Forum discussion, plus entertainment and the Candlelit Dinner on Saturday.  

For further information and booking, contact Marion Cox, 1 Kiltiernan East, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway.  Tel: 086-8053917  email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and www.autumngathering.com.

Organising Committee: Ronnie O’Gorman (Director), Marion Cox (Hon. Secretary), Eileen O’Connor (Hon. Member) and John Quinn (Hon. Member).

20 August 2014

 


 

 

 

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