MISS: W. B. Yeats. Culture and Politics in 1921

Tuesday 9th May, 2023 at 4:30pm (AEST), 7:30am (IST)
Prof. Stephen Regan, Durham University and University of Melbourne
W. B. Yeats: Culture and Politics in 1921

1921 was a crucially important year in modern Irish politics. It was the year in which Ireland was partitioned under the Government of Ireland Act, in which a ceasefire brought an end to the most intense phase of the War of Independence, and in which the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed. It was also a crucially important year in the life and work of W. B. Yeats. It marked the publication of one of his most powerful books of poems, Michael Robartes and the Dancer, containing ‘Easter 1916’ and ‘The Second Coming’. The birth of his son Michael amid political violence prompted some of his most ambitious work, combining tender family sentiments with anxious fears about the future of civilisation. This talk will look at the key events in Yeats’s life in 1921 and assess the significance of the work he produced in that momentous year. It will close with a critical analysis of one of the great poems that Yeats composed in 1921: ‘Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen’. 

Stephen Regan is Professor Emeritus at Durham University (in North-East England) and also a research associate in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He is the editor of Irish Writing: An Anthology of Irish Literature in English 1789-1939 (OUP, 2004). He has also edited Esther Watersby the Irish novelist, George Moore for the Oxford World’s Classics series (OUP, 2012). His essays on modern Irish poetry have appeared in The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry (OUP, 2012), W. B. Yeats in Context (CUP, 2010), and Seamus Heaney in Context (CUP, 2020). His most recent books are The Sonnet (a critical history of the sonnet from the Renaissance to the present) published by OUP in 2019, and The Penguin Book of Elegy (co-edited with Andrew Motion), which will be published later this year. He is currently editing three volumes of The Oxford History of Poetry in English

LOCATION (In-Person and Online)
This free public seminar will be streamed live online via Zoom, and held in-person in the Jabiru Room at Newman College (enter via main gate and follow the signs). The Zoom room will be open 10 minutes before the scheduled start to give everyone time to connect. Please keep your microphone on mute for the duration of the talk. There will be time for questions at the end of the seminar. Please RSVP to Dianne.hall@vu.edu.au if you would like the zoom link.