Exhibition Closing with Margaret Mills Harper & Crazy Jane

Fergus Bourke: Hawthorn Tree, Connemara

Fergus Bourke: Hawthorn Tree, Connemara

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Exhibition Closing

with

Prof. Margaret Mills Harper

University of Limerick

‘Yeats & the Problem of Crazy Jane’

Monday 15 February 2016

Professor Margaret Mills Harper on Crazy Jane

Professor Margaret Mills Harper on Crazy Jane

To close the exhibition in Galway, Margaret Mills Harper gave a sparkling talk on philosophy, sex, censorship balladry, and poetics, including Cracked Mary, Crazy Jane, and a type of grass no one in the room admitted to having tried called ‘Warlock’. Introducing her exhibition curator Adrian Paterson thanked her for her scholarship and the energy she radiates whenever and wherever in the world talking about Yeats. He also warmly thanked his co-curator Barry Houlihan, and all the other contributors to the exhibition over a more than a year’s work.

Dr Adrian Paterson and Professor Margaret Mills Harper

Dr Adrian Paterson and Professor Margaret Mills Harper

Come and see us in Sligo! Opening at The Model, 24 March.

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Margaret Mills Harper is Glucksman Professor of Contemporary Writing in English at the University of Limerick. She is the author of The Aristocracy of Art: Joyce and Wolfe (1990), and Wisdom of Two: The Spiritual and Literary Collaboration of George and W. B. Yeats ( 2006). She has co-edited two of the four volumes of Yeats’s “Vision” Papers (1992 and 2001) and both the 1925 and 1937 versions of Yeats’s A Vision (2008, 2015).

Crazy Jane and the Bishop
Bring me to the blasted oak
That I, midnight upon the stroke,
(All find safety in the tomb.)
May call down curses on his head
Because of my dear Jack that’s dead.
Coxcomb was the least he said:
The solid man and the coxcomb.

Nor was he Bishop when his ban
Banished Jack the Journeyman,
(All find safety in the tomb.)
Nor so much as parish priest,
Yet he, an old book in his fist,
Cried that we lived like beast and beast:
The solid man and the coxcomb.

The Bishop has a skin, God knows,
Wrinkled like the foot of a goose,
(All find safety in the tomb.)
Nor can he hide in holy black
The heron’s hunch upon his back,
But a birch-tree stood my Jack:
The solid man and the coxcomb.

Jack had my virginity,
And bids me to the oak, for he
(All find safety in the tomb.)
Wanders out into the night
And there is shelter under it,
But should that other come, I spit:
The solid man and the coxcomb.

from Words for Music Perhaps (1931)

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Exhibition Closing with Margaret Mills Harper & Crazy Jane

 

Yeats and the West logo

Exhibition Closing

with

Prof. Margaret Mills Harper

University of Limerick

‘Yeats & the Problem of Crazy Jane’

Room G010, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway

5pm Monday 15 February

Refreshments served

Margaret Mills Harper is Glucksman Professor of Contemporary Writing in English at the University of Limerick. She is the author of The Aristocracy of Art: Joyce and Wolfe (1990), and Wisdom of Two: The Spiritual and Literary Collaboration of George and W. B. Yeats ( 2006). She has co-edited two of the four volumes of Yeats’s “Vision” Papers (1992 and 2001) and both the 1925 and 1937 versions of Yeats’s A Vision (2008, 2015).

Fergus Bourke - Hawthorn, Connemara Lowerrescopy

Fergus Bourke: ‘Hawthorn Tree, Connemara’

Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop
I met the Bishop on the road
And much said he and I.
`Those breasts are flat and fallen now
Those veins must soon be dry;
Live in a heavenly mansion,
Not in some foul sty.’

 

`Fair and foul are near of kin,
And fair needs foul,’ I cried.
‘My friends are gone, but that’s a truth
Nor grave nor bed denied,
Learned in bodily lowliness
And in the heart’s pride.

 

`A woman can be proud and stiff
When on love intent;
But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement;
For nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent.’

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Western Worlds: a day at Yeats & the West

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WESTERN WORLDS

a Yeats & the West day

Friday 27th November 2015

Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway

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William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature, always looked west. The Yeats & the West exhibition at NUI Galway, with rare books, art, music, drama, and film, discovers what the west meant to him, and what this means for us. As part of the Yeats & the West programme, the day-long symposium Western Worlds tells the story of the western cultural revolution that shaped modern Ireland. Featuring talks on W.B.Yeats’s poems, plays, artistic collaborations and love affairs, and featuring his co-conspirators Jack B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Padraic Pearse and Eva Gore Booth, it includes poetry readings and an exclusive interview with the artist John Behan about current exhibitions of Yeatsian-themed sculptures and drawings. Western Worlds tells a story of going west to find those places, real and imaginative, that change our sense of where and who we are.

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Western Worlds: A Day at Yeats & the West

Bridge Seminar Room, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway

Friday 27th November 2015

10.45am Welcome & Kisses

Adrian Frazier  Yeats & Maud Gonne: The Meaning of Their Kisses

12pm   Poems

Brian Arkins    W.B.Yeats & G.M. Hopkins

Deirdre Ní Chonghaile  ‘Listening to this rude and beautiful poetry’: J.M. Synge as song collector in the Aran Islands

1pm       Lunch

2pm       Plays                                                                      

Barry Houlihan ‘Suffering Spirits and Remorseful Dead’: Remembrance and Re-enactments in the plays of W.B. Yeats

Ian Walsh The Painted Play: Jack B. Yeats and the Postdramatic Theatre

3pm   Revivals

Mary Harris   Realism, Idealism and the Gaelic Revival

Maureen O’Connor   Some Vague Utopia: Eva Gore-Booth’s The Death of Fionavar (1916)

4pm   Coffee

4.30  Arts

Adrian Paterson with Barry Houlihan  (curators of Yeats & the West) Yeats among the Arts: exhibition highlights tour

from 5pm in Special Collections

5.30pm   Poems

David Clare & Deirdre Clare   dramatic readings

6.30pm  Reception

7pm   Bulls

John Behan  The Bull of Sheriff Street in conversation

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Western Worlds: a Yeats & the West symposium

WESTERN WORLDS

a Yeats & the West symposium

Friday 27th November 2015

Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway

Wall Vinyl 2

William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature, always looked west. The Yeats & the West exhibition at NUI Galway, with rare books, art, music, drama, and film, considers what the west meant to him, and what this means for us. As part of the Yeats & the West programme, the day-long symposium Western Worlds tells the story of the western cultural revolution that shaped modern Ireland. Featuring talks on W.B.Yeats’s poems, plays, artistic collaborations and love affairs, and featuring his co-conspirators Jack B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Padraic Pearse and Eva Gore Booth, it includes poetry readings and an exclusive interview with the artist John Behan about current exhibitions of Yeatsian-themed sculptures and drawings. Western Worlds tells a story of going west to find those places, real and imaginative, that change our sense of where and who we are.

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A family affair

Susan Yeats (1866-1949) and Elizabeth Corbett Yeats (1868-1940) (known by the family and others as ‘Lily’ and ‘Lolly’) are the unsung, or lesser sung heroes of the Yeats family. At Yeats and the West and its associated events, including a theatrical presentation on the afternoon Friday 11th September, they are most certainly sung.

As the Yeats sisters discovered, working with William Morris and his daughter May at Kelmscott House Hammersmith just down the road from the family home in London’s Bedford Park, was an oppressive but rewarding experience. The sisters gained training in languages and in arts and crafts. Lily became an expert embroiderer; the talented artist Lolly learnt enough at Morris’s Kelmscott Press to take charge of what would become the Cuala Press.

23 Saint Patrick

Design by AE, embroidery by Dun Emer Guild. Image courtesy of St Brendan’s Cathedral Loughrea

In 1902 the sisters were founder members of the Dun Emer Guild  with Evelyn Gleeson. The organization took inspiration from medieval crafts, handwork, design and guild structures, but also from an emerging national and feminist spirit. This meant that western designs were paramount with trees and mythological creatures prominent, all the workers were women, and in this atmosphere Celtic ornament was very starkly made new. In 1907 the company dissolved on Gleeson’s departure and Cuala Industries was born.

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Works from Dun Emer and Cuala Industries with the sisters’  input on show at the exhibition include embroidered saints banners mostly designed in 1903  by Jack B. Yeats and his wife Cottie for the new St Brendan’s Cathedral at Loughrea, and executed at Dun Emer, a selection of which are on view at a small but excellent exhibition at St Brendan’s.

10 Saint Columcille

Also featured in rotation are full print runs of glorious handcoloured Broadsides of poems and ballads in three series (1908-1915, 1935, and 1937), printed at Cuala and largely designed by Jack B. Yeats, but with other artists like Harry Kernoff, Victor Brown and Seamus O’Sullivan joining in later series.

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Perhaps pride of place is an exquisite selection of Cuala Press volumes. With their spare design aesthetic and W.B. Yeats as literary editor these books, proudly printed in Ireland with Irish materials and craft, set the tone for Irish Revival printing and Irish Literary Modernism. From 1903 all of Yeats’s poems were printed first in Cuala press volumes; other significant contributors include Frank O’Connor, Lady Gregory, A.E., Lord Dunsany, Ezra Pound, and Louis MacNeice.

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And, for one day only, on Friday 11th September NUI Galway hosts a one of performance about the Yeats sisters, featuring music and art from their lives.

Lily and Lolly: Yeats and his Sisters 

Written and performed by Sinead Murphy and Darina Gallagher

 Reception and Performance: Friday 11 September 2015 – 3.30-5.00pm – All Welcome!!

Venue: Room G006, Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway

 Lily and Lolly is a new work of theatre that looks at the life of poet W.B. Yeats through the eyes of his sisters Lily and Lolly Yeats. Set in their Dublin printing company Cuala Press, it explores the poetry and plays they publish for their brother Willie. Through storytelling, poetry and song, Lily and Lolly opens up the relationships within the Yeats family, with their brother the artist Jack B.Yeats and their father, the portrait artist John B. Yeats. Lilly and Lolly and their all-female printing company, find themselves at the forefront of the Irish Literary Revival surrounded by the characters so important in the life of W.B.Yeats including Maud Gonne, Lady Gregory, James Joyce, AE, Sean O’Casey and John Millington Synge.

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