Yeats‘ Nobel Prize Celebration/Wheatley Book Acquisition – Poetry News Roundup November 29th

Today in our poetry news round up, we take a look at the 100th anniversary of Yeats’ Nobel Prize and the Phillis Wheatley book acquired by a museum.

100th Anniversary of Yeats’ Nobel Prize to be Celebrated

This weekend, leading Irish poets will be gathering in Sligo to celebrate the centenary of the poet WB Yeats being awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. Paul Muldoon, the Chair of Irish Poetry, together with a number of other poets will be coming together to feature in ‘My Numberless Dreams…. My Passionate Rhyme.’

No Crows, a Sligo band and musicians Frank Gallagher and Steve Wickham will also be performing at the event.

Caitríona Yeats, the poet’s granddaughter will also be in attendance and there will be a public reading of 100 of the poems of Yeats together with a tribute to Seamus Heaney, who was the last Irish person awarded a Nobel Prize. The event also marks the 10th anniversary of Heaney’s death. .

This event is just one of a series of specially commissioned events that have been taking place to celebrate Yeats‘ achievement. Others have been at Abbey Theatre, Seanad Eireann, The National Library of Ireland and a number of libraries and primary schools across the area – all of which have a personal connection to the poet and all are involved in the promotion of poetry.

Paul Muldoon who is the current Ireland Professor of Poetry recently took part in a celebration in Stockholm for Yeats.

Phillis Wheatley First Edition Acquired by Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum has announced that it has recently acquired a Phillis Wheatley first edition which it will be adding to its collection as part of their 250th Boston Tea Party anniversary year. The book “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral was written by Wheatley who arrived in Boston 250 years ago, on board the Dartmouth.

Wheatley gained international renown and is now considered to be a key literary figure. She was a former enslaved person and the first women of African descent to have a book published in both America and Britain. She was only the third woman to have a book of poetry published in America.

When the Dartmouth docked in Boston 250 years ago, it was one of three ships that made up the Boston Tea Party Ships and amongst its cargo of tea in East India Company crates was a shipment of the poetry book which was newly published. In its day, the book was a literary sensation.

The museum has acquired the poetry collection through an auction that specialises in the sale of historic artefacts in Texas. They now plan to design a new, permanent exhibition which will not only tell the story of Wheatley but also the connection that she had to the Boston Tea Party. The new book will take centre stage in the exhibition, and it is hoped that it will be ready to open late in 2024 or in early 2025. They will be holding a temporary pop-up exhibit in the interim.


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