Yeats obama

President Obama receives special WB Yeats gifts

Yeats2015 is celebrated at the White House for St. Patrick’s Day

President Barack Obama celebrated St.Patrick’s Day with some very special Yeatsian gifts presented to him by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD.

Yeats2015 provided a special twist to the annual presentation by the Taoiseach of a Waterford Crystal bowl of shamrock – this year it was engraved with lines from one of Yeats’ best-loved poems ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’.

The president also received a specially-crafted collection of Yeats poems, as part of the global celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Irish poet’s birth.

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden each received the beautiful hand-printed, hand-bound book of a selection of Yeats’ poems, in collaboration with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s Irish Design 2015 initiative.

Two smaller books containing quotes from the life and works of Yeats were presented to the president’s daughters, Sasha and Malia.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “This year, with Yeats2015, the Government marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of the great Irish poets, WB Yeats. 

“In this special year, I was delighted to be able to present President Obama with gifts that celebrate Yeats and his remarkable contribution to literary history.”  

Yeats2015 is part of the Government’s official Decade of Commemoration and is funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht and administered by the Western Development Commission (WDC).

The book was printed by Mary Plunkett of The Belgrave Private Press in Dublin. Mary is 1916 leader Joseph Mary Plunkett’s grand niece. She was inspired by the work of the Yeats sisters Susan and Elizabeth, who set up and ran Cuala Press in Dublin, printing many of WB’s works. 

Reflecting Yeats’s links to his spiritual home of Sligo, the book was bound in green leather at Ox Bindery Press in Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.

The work was done Benjamin van de Wetering, a master craftsman, printer and restorer of manuscripts and books. 

Today was not the first time Yeats has been to the White House – he stopped by to take lunch with American President Theodore Roosevelt on December 28, 1903.

See more from Yeats2015 at or updates via #yeats2015

The video below shows the story behind the book.

Yeats 2015

Yeats 2015 Presents a “Significant Cultural Opportunity for Ireland”

Extensive research and business case analysis conducted by the Ross School of Business at Michigan University has highlighted the cultural and economic possibilities associated with the upcoming Yeats 2015 programme. MBA students at Ross School of Business, in collaboration with the Western Development Commission (WDC), have recently undertaken the detailed exploration of the planned Yeats 2015 celebration.

Commenting on the Michigan University report, Head of Regional Development and Acting CEO of the WDC, Ian Brannigan stated that “The potential of Yeats 2015 from both an economic and cultural perspective is very clearly defined in the Ross report. This year-long celebration will attract visitors from Japan, the US and continental Europe – W.B. Yeats has a substantial international following with Yeatsian societies in many countries. It is estimated that Yeats 2015 could attract thousands of additional international visitors netting millions in international tourism and cultural revenues”

While recent tourism initiatives such as The Gathering have illustrated the scope and economic impact of focused international marketing campaigns – Yeats 2015 offers a distinctly unique cultural opportunity to celebrate Ireland, through the prism of one of its most renowned literary icons. Given the geographical resonance of much of Yeats’s writing, there is also a distinct connection between the writer and the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’.

Speaking about their involvement in the research project underpinning Yeats 2015, Ross 2015 MBA student Evan Botsford stated that “Based on our extensive research and analysis, our team concluded that, with the help of our report’s recommendations, the Yeats 2015 event has potential for a very positive long-term impact on not only marketing Ireland and its’ culture, but also developing unique, sustainable partnerships, and unifying the myriad of ideas and passions regarding the legacy of WB Yeats around the globe.”

The Yeats 2015 celebration was officially launched earlier this year by the former Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan T.D., and its programme will commence in early 2015. The WDC has also recently issued a call for tenders in respect of the development of the celebrations’ website and expects to issue a request for ‘Expressions of Interest’ in the coming weeks to engage with the creative industry nationally and regionally regarding potential linkages.

To find out more about the Yeats 2015 celebration, contact the WDC at 094-9861441 or visit

Yeats 2015

Final Call for Expressions of Interest from Creative Community for Yeats 2015 Programme Awards

Yeats 2015 has issued a call for ‘Expressions of Interest’ for two Awards (Creative/Artistic and Regional) in respect of the development of elements of the Yeats 2015 programme. The call is managed by the Western Development Commission (WDC) on behalf of the Yeats 2015 National Steering Group. Senator Susan O’Keeffe, chair of the Steering Group welcomed the call. “This will be a year-long national and international celebration of Yeats and of contemporary Irish creativity. The year will succeed because of the great talent we have in Ireland across the creative sector. This is the first time an Irish literary figure is to be celebrated in this manner.”

Successful proposers may secure between €2,000 and €25,000 in funding to develop and deliver their programme element. The call will close on 29th September 2014.

The Yeats 2015 programme will feature a sequence of national, regional and international events to celebrate the life and work of one of Ireland’s foremost literary figures. It is part of the official Decade of Commemoration and is funded by the Department of the Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

Born in 1865, W.B. Yeats is a poet of international renown – his Nobel Prize, won in 1923, was awarded for his “always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.” The Yeats 2015 programme will celebrate the 150th anniversary of W.B. Yeats’ birth and in so-doing, shine a light on the literary, artistic and cultural wealth which Ireland has so abundantly produced.
The call seeks to engage individuals, organisations and interested parties from arts, cultural, tourism and heritage sectors. Speaking earlier today Acting CEO of the WDC Ian Brannigan said, “This call is of central importance to the successful delivery of the Yeats 2015 programme. It is our wish that key sectors, individuals and organisations become actively involved with the programme. We are interested in receiving applications across a range of disciplines and different communities of practice and regions.” Details for both awards are available on the WDC website.

Yeats 2015’s call offers the opportunity for individuals, collectives and organisations to submit applications for innovative and collaborative programme elements. There are also opportunities for significant regional proposals. Funding for both applications is offered on the basis of applicants securing 25% matching financial support, and further detail regarding the application process is clearly set-out on the WDC’s website.
Interested parties can access further information regarding the call for Expressions of Interest at

Contact Details:

Senator Susan O’Keeffe, Chair Yeats 2015 – 085 1314084
Ian Brannigan, Head of Regional Development and CEO(a) WDC: / 094 9861441
Karan Thompson, Yeats 2015: 086 2550291

Image Credit: Yeats 2015 Website