Yeats’s Nobel Prize Centenary 1923-2023
Sun 10 Dec, Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2023 submission deadline
- judged by Mona Arshi & Tom Sleigh
- first prize £2,000
- second prize £1,000
- third prize £500
- plus 20 commendeds
- plus – winners & commendeds invited to read with judges (live & online) at Bedford Park Festival ‘Yeats Birthday’ Poetry Night on June 13 2024, at St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park
- all proceeds from this year’s prize go to ongoing development (inc. security, CCTV, lighting) at #EnwroughtLight artwork & visitor experience, submissions close Sunday 10th December, the date on which Yeats received his Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm! (Full details here)
Thu 14 Dec, 7.30pm: Inaugural WB Yeats Bedford Park Lecture by Roy Foster
To celebrate WB Yeats’s acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm one hundred years ago on 10th December 1923, we’re delighted to welcome his biographer, Professor Roy Foster, to the poet & dramatist’s boyhood London neighbourhood (to the Yeats family’s parish church, in fact), to deliver the first WB Yeats Bedford Park Lecture.
R.F. Foster FBA FRHistS FRSL is former Carroll Professor at Hertford College, Oxford and author, as Yeats’s official biographer, of the two-volume WB Yeats, A Life — The Apprentice Mage 1865-1914 and The Arch Poet 1915-1939
Feb 2024, date tbc: Yeats Bedford Park and the Journey to the East,
Lecture by: Cahal Dallat
Readings by: Anne-Marie Fyfe
Hosted by: British Maha Bodhi Society and London Buddhist Vihara
At: London Buddhist Vihara, 17 The Avenue, London W4 1UD, and online…
Booking details: tbc
Sun 8 Oct, 2.30-5pm: Land of Heart’s Desire: WB Yeats Literary Walk with Cahal Dallat
Every poet has, surely, their own Land of Heart’s Desire. For 1923’s Nobel-Prize-winner, WB Yeats, the sublime landscape, and the lore and legends of the West of Ireland inspired his early work. But poets need a network of publishing, poetry groups, friends, and literary/artistic connections in which to thrive, and Yeats’s uniquely Irish genius was fostered in the improbably progressive Bohemian/Utopian ambience of the beautiful and unique 19c Arts-&-Crafts artists’ colony that is Bedford Park, in Chiswick, West London, where he spent much of his youth.
Join Irish poet, Cahal Dallat, founder/organiser of WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project which has led to the unveiling of Conrad Shawcross RA’s dazzling Yeatsian gyre outside the Yeats family’s former parish church (and who’s lectured on Yeats at a great many colleges, conferences, festivals and societies) on a Centenary stroll round the young poet’s favourite haunts, by way of Kelmscott House and the island that inspired the world’s best-loved poem of exile, and on to Bedford Park. And take in, en route, talk of Pissarro, O’Connell, Wm. and May Morris, Stepniak, Florence Farr, George Bernard Shaw, Henley, Jack B and the Yeats sisters, plus actors, anarchists, occultists, and much more.
Starts at: Ravenscourt Park Tube Station, West London
Ends at: #EnwroughtLight artwork by Turnham Green Tube Station, West London
Booking via: Coffee-House Poetry
Sun 10 Sep, 1pm: Dorothy Wellesley & WB Yeats with Jane Wellesley
A hundred years after WB Yeats won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Jane Wellesley tells the fascinating story of his intimate friend – and her grandmother – Dorothy Wellesley. Poet, gardener, traveller and heiress, Dorothy became the lover of Vita Sackville-West, wrecking her marriage to the Duke of Wellington.
Wed 14 Jun, 8pm: Bedford Park Festival celebrates Yeats’s Birthday: Only My Dreams with special guest Marina Warner
…plus London and local poets hosted by Anne-Marie Fyfe and Cahal Dallat
1923-Nobel-Prizewinner WB Yeats, wrote ‘I being poor have only my dreams’ in his Bedford-Park-era poem that inspired Conrad Shawcross RA’s dazzling #EnwroughtLight artwork!
And so he wrote, right here in Bedford Park, as a young man, of his dreams of love, of art, of elsewhere, of literary greatness.
Join us in this year’s Festival poetry-evening marking Yeats’s June 13th birthday & hear today’s poets with their poetry of dreams, introduced by Coffee-House Poetry organiser, poet Anne-Marie Fyfe. (Preceded by music and drinks on the lawn by #EnwroughtLight from 7.30pm)
And after the interval, listen to author Marina Warner, who’s written on Yeats, myth, fairytale & symbol, read & discuss her choice of literary favourites with poet & Yeats/BedfordPk project-founder Cahal Dallat.
And bring your own poem on dreams, wishes, aspirations & desires (max. 25 lines) for a chance to read!
At: St. Michael & All Angels Church, opp. Turnham Grn Tube, Bath Rd, Chiswick, London W4 1TX
Tue 13 Jun, 6pm, Yeats’s Birthday: Online Talk: The Yeatses, Morris and Kelmscott House
While Wm Morris’s ideas were central to the first garden-suburb’s aesthetic, for young London-Irish Bedford Park resident William Butler Yeats, Morris himself was somewhere between patron and hero. And Kelmscott House, where his sister Lily worked for May Morris, became both focal point for Sunday-night meetings with artistic and political London, and hub of a network that would fire his political thinking, foster his Nobel-Prize-winning career as dramatist and one of the best-loved poets in English literature, and inspire (with his sisters Lily and Lolly) a Celtic cultural revival.
Chiswick-based Irish poet, Cahal Dallat, founder of the WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project and creator of the Discover Bedford Park with WB Yeats smartphone trail which features Kelmscott House as one of the ten West London locations that nurtured the young poet’s talent, explores – on Yeats’s birthday (13th June) in his Nobel-Centenary year – why Morris and his circle mattered so much to the emerging genius.
Hosted by: The William Morris Society, Kelmscott House
- Sean Rocks talks to Cahal Dallat on #WorldPoetryDay for RTÉ’s Arena with readings from Ciarán Hinds (17 mins)
- Samira Ahmed on BBC Radio4’s flagship arts magazine Front Row with a 15-min feature (@ 18 mins in)
- Lucinda MacPherson reports for The Chiswick Calendar
- Twitter clip of Jeremy Vine reading The Second Coming
- Nick Hennegan talks to Cahal Dallat on Bohemian Britain on Resonance 104.4FM
Sat 28 Jan, 11am, Discover Bedford Park with WB Yeats smartphone poetry-places launch with Jeremy Vine
Come along and join us as we launch an exciting and unique visitor experience Discover Bedford Park with WB Yeats focused on Conrad Shawcross’s @YeatsBedfordPk artwork #EnwroughtLight and taking phone/personal-device users around eight great Yeats poetry places in the immediate locale, each with directions, images, a short talk on the Yeats/Bedford-Park context/inspiration, and, at each, a Yeats poem on audio by 2022-Oscar-and-BAFTA-nominated actor Ciarán Hinds.
With tech-savvy Jeremy Vine showing us how it all works and starting off the trail: bring your smartphone/tablet and no, you don’t have to do the walk on the day, just enjoy the launch! Jeremy’s been an enthusiastic supporter of our project from day one, as well as of so many Chiswick ventures including Bedford Park Festival and Bedford Park Bicycle Club
Free public event: everyone welcome!
Hosted by: Chiswick Book Festival director, Torin Douglas, with @YeatsBedfordPk project organiser Cahal Dallat and guests, poet, Anne-Marie Fyfe and author Polly Devlin
At: the green triangle outside St. Michael & All Angels (opp. Turnham Grn Tube), Bath Rd, Chiswick, London W4 1TX
- Poetic justice: WB Yeats’s time in London to be celebrated at last, Vanessa Thorpe in The Guardian, 4th September 2022
- Nick Hennegan’s report on the unveiling Bohemian Britain on Resonance 104.4FM
- M.C.‘s note in N.B. in Times Literary Supplement
- Ruth Negga reads Yeats in The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour
- The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour on Jeremy Irons website
- Interview with #EnwroughtLight sculptor sculptor Conrad Shawcross RA in The Chiswick Calendar
- The Chiswick Calendar reports on unveiling of #EnwroughtLight
Tue 6 Sep, 4.30pm, WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork by Conrad Shawcross RA: Unveiling
Free public event with Yeats poems from local schoolchildren, music by Irish Heritage musicians, address by Rt. Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. Rowan Williams, poet and former Archbishop of Canterbury, hosted by Cahal Dallat.
At: the green triangle outside St. Michael & All Angels (opp. Turnham Grn Tube), Bath Rd, Chiswick, London W4 1TX
Pics (right): (1) Rt Hon & Rt Rev Dr Rowan Williams, who ‘unveiled’ #EnwroughtLight; Ireland’s Ambassador to the UK, Martin Fraser; Cahal Dallat, project founder/organiser; Cllr Raghwinder Siddhu, Mayor of Hounslow; Ven. Seelawimala, Chief Sanga Nayaka of Gt Britain and Head Monk at London Buddhist Vihara, Bedford Park; Fr Kevin Morris, Vicar of St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park; Ms Rosi Prescott, Deputy Lieutenant for Hounslow; and sculptor Conrad Shawcross RA;
(2) information signage located beside the new Yeats/BedfordPark-inspired artwork;
(3) Tara Viscardi (harp) and Robert Finegan, joined later by David Walsh (tenor) thanks to Irish Heritage
(4) 300+ audience in St Michael and All Angels for The Poetry Hour; and
(5) Sinéad Cusack, Ciarán Hinds, Ruth Negga and Jeremy Irons reading WB Yeats (dir. Shevaun Wilder)
*Thanks to David Beresford for superb photography of the day’s events
Tue 6 Sep, 6.30pm, The Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation celebrates WB Yeats in Bedford Park with Ciarán Hinds, Sinéad Cusack and guests
The Josephine Hart Poetry Hour marks today’s unveiling of the Yeats Bedford Park Artwork, Enwrought Light, with great actors reading great Yeats poems. Readers include actors Sinéad Cusack, Jeremy Irons, Ruth Negga and 2022 Oscar and BAFTA nominee, Ciarán Hinds. Director: Shevaun Wilder
Musical prelude from Irish Heritage
At: St. Michael & All Angels (opp. Turnham Grn Tube), Bath Rd, Chiswick, London W4 1TX
Wed 20 Apr, 7.30 pm: What did WB Yeats ever do for Bedford Park (and vice versa)?
Who was WB Yeats? What makes him unique in twentieth-century world literature? And unique among so many Bedford Park writers & artists?
And how does Conrad Shawcross RA’s Yeats-inspired #EnwroughtLight, to be unveiled on Tuesday 6th September, symbolise and celebrate progressive, aesthetic, multi-cultural, 19c Arts-&-Crafts Bedford-Park’s fostering of a Chiswick schoolboy from an Irish migrant family – a fostering that led to some of the world’s best-loved poems, to a Nobel Prize, and to Yeats’s status as Ireland’s national poet!
WB Yeats Bedford Park Project founder/organiser, Cahal Dallat, conjures up the Bohemian/Utopian atmosphere that made Yeats a poet, explores the meanings of Shawcross’s dazzling Yeats/Bedford-Park vision and its significance at the gateway to Yeats’s boyhood London neighbourhood, and describes the visitor experience currently under development which will share Bedford Park’s unique history and Yeats’s poetry with the local community, future generations, and poetry/arts-lovers worldwide.
Booking: Free public lecture, no booking required
Venue: St. Michael & All Angels Church, opp. Turnham Grn Tube, Bath Rd Chiswick London W4 1TX
Sat 10 Mar 2021, 12:00 pm: He Bade His Soul Fly Upwards: Yeats, Bedford Park and Transcendence
Watch National Theatre actor Ciarán Hinds read Yeats’s He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, a key inspiration for our project, at our London Irish Embassy launch in Grosvenor Place, with thanks to Irish Literary Society & to Ambassador Adrian and Mrs Aisling O’Neill
Tue 25 Feb 2020, 7.30 pm: A Whole Day’s Dreaming: Yeats, the Thames, and Poetry
The Thames has long had a magnetic attraction for writers and artists but for Nobel-Prize-winning poet WB Yeats, growing up in nearby Bedford Park, the riverbanks between Chiswick Pier and Hammersmith were a vital resource: both a place to meet influential and inspirational people, and the source of one of the world’s best-loved poems of longing, The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
Chiswick poets Cahal Dallat and Anne-Marie Fyfe, both from Ireland’s Glens of Antrim, conjure up for us, through talk, excerpts from the young WB Yeats’s poems and letters, and a little music, Yeats’s late-19th-century Thames-side circle of poets, painters, playwrights, political thinkers and small-press publishers, and the natural riverbank world of willows, osiers, & water lapping with low sounds by the shore.
Venue: Chiswick Pier Trust. The Pier House, Corney Reach Way, London, W4 2UG
Sun 20 Oct, 2.30-5pm: Land of Heart’s Desire: WB Yeats Literary Walk
with Cahal Dallat for WB Yeats Bedford Park Project
Every poet has, surely, their own Land of Heart’s Desire. For Nobel-Prize-winning poet WB Yeats the sublime landscape & legends of the West of Ireland inspired his early work. But poets need a network of publishing, poetry groups, friends, & literary-&-artistic connections in which to thrive, and Yeats’s unique genius was fostered in the curious 19c Arts-&-Crafts garden-suburb/artists’-colony that was Bedford Park, in Chiswick, West London, where he spent much of his youth.
Join Irish poet and critic Cahal Dallat (founder/organiser of WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project who’s lectured on Yeats for Poetry Society, Sligo’s Yeats International Summer School, Mapping Yeats 2015 at UMKC, WB Yeats Society of NY &c) on a Sunday stroll (starts Ravenscourt Pk Tube, ends Turnham Grn Tube) round Yeats’s favourite haunts, by way of Upper Mall, along Thames riverside by Old Chiswick Churchyard to Bedford Park, taking in, en route, Pissarro, Pope, Thackeray, O’Connell, Wm. Morris, Whistler, Stepniak, Shaw, Holst, Henley, other Yeatses, actors, anarchists, occultists, typographers, and much more.
Venue: from Ravenscourt Park Tube Station, West London
Fri 13 Sep, 6.15pm, On the Pavements Grey: WB Yeats in Utopian Bedford Park
The story of WB Yeats, who, though much inspired by West-of-Ireland legend, landscape and longing, spent two-thirds of his youth in London, mostly in Bedford Park, the diverse artists’-colony of actors, anarchists, Arts&Crafts practitioners, poets, painters, playwrights, and late-nineteenth-century seekers after wisdom and truth who fostered his unique Nobel-Prize-winning literary genius.
A rare opportunity to hear the Yeats/Bedford Park story from the founder/organiser of the WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project, Cahal Dallat, in the unique setting of the Buddhist Vihara, in the building which was, from 1877 to 1939, The Bedford Park Club where Yeats’s father, painter John Butler Yeats joined in debates with fellow artists, writers, critics and political thinkers, where the young WB Yeats witnessed the pageants that were to inspire his symbolist drama & his co-founding of the Irish National Theatre, a particularly appropriate location, too, because of Yeats’s interest in his search for a spiritual dimension, in Hindu & Buddhist literature and teachings.
Venue: London Buddhist Vihara, 17 The Avenue London W4 1UD
Sun 9, Sun 16 & Sun 23 Jun, 2.30pm, Land of Heart’s Desire: WB Yeats Literary Walks
Tue 7 May, 6.30pm, On the Pavements Grey: WB Yeats & Being Irish in London
US Launch of: WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project &
Lecture by: Cahal Dallat music, & Yeats readings by poet Anne-Marie Fyfe
Hosted by: Ambassador Daniel Mulhall & Mrs. Greta Mulhall
Sponsored by: Embassy of Ireland, USA
Venue: The Ambassador’s Residence, 2244 ‘S’ Street NW, Washington DC 20008
Mon 19 Nov 2018, 6pm: On the Pavements Grey: WB Yeats in Utopian Bedford Park,
Fifth Annual Irish Literary Society Embassy of Ireland Lecture
London Launch of: WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project &
Lecture by: Cahal Dallat with guests Ciarán Hinds & Anne-Marie Fyfe
Hosted by: Ambassador Adrian O’Neill & Mrs. Aisling O’Neill
Sponsored by: Embassy of Ireland, Great Britain
Venue: Embassy of Ireland, Grosvenor Pl, London SW1X 7HR
Nobel-prizewinning poet, WB Yeats, though much inspired by Irish legend, landscape & longing, spent two-thirds of his youth in London, the majority of that time in the first-ever ‘garden-suburb’, Chiswick’s Arts-&-Crafts-influenced Bedford Park, whose diverse artists’-colony of inhabitants fostered his literary talent & endeavours.
Irish poet & literary critic, Cahal Dallat, has lived within a few blocks of the Yeats family’s two Bedford Park homes for all of his adult life & – fascinated by the ways in which Willie, his father, & his artistic siblings, negotiated the metropolis’s social networks, while dreaming of Sleuth Wood or Ben Bulben – has lectured on the importance to Victorian London of Irish artists (poets, painters, playwrights, composers, & politicians, for politics, too, is an art in Ireland) & on the equal importance to often-penniless, exiled Irish geniuses, of London’s complex cultural intersections & opportunities.
Sun 10 & Sun 17 Jun 2018, 2.30-5 pm, Land of Heart’s Desire: WB Yeats Literary Walks
for Bedford Park Festival & WB Yeats Bedford Park Project