Poetry Ireland to bid at auction for WB Yeats’s writing bureau and chair.

27th September 2017

Press release: Tuesday 26 September 2017 

Poetry Ireland will attend the “Yeats: the Family Collection” auction at Sotheby’s, London on Wednesday, September 27thin an attempt to secure the writing bureau and desk chair used by WB Yeats for the Poetry Ireland Centre at 11 Parnell Square. 

The writing bureau, which travelled with the Nobel Laureate from Galway to his three Dublin addresses, is part of a significant collection of art, letters and personal effects belonging to the Yeats family, which will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday (September 27th).  

Poetry Ireland hopes to prevent Yeats‘s desk and chair from falling into private ownership, and will bid with support from a small grouping of poetry benefactors, who share the organisation’s wish to make these items available to the Irish public.   

If successful, the desk and chair will find a new, permanent and publicly accessible home as part of the Poetry Ireland Centre at 11 Parnell Square, in the heart of Dublin’s literary quarter.  The room that they would reside in overlooks Parnell Square, with a direct line of vision to Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane.  In an adjacent room, this new Centre will also house Seamus Heaney’s Working Poetry Library.  Presentation of such significant material from both Ireland’s Nobel Laureate poets would ensure that this development becomes one of the world’s leading poetry centres.   

 Poetry Ireland has embarked on ambitious and innovative plans for the redevelopment of this expansive Georgian townhouse as an all-island institution dedicated to poetry in all its forms. When complete, this development will house the Seamus Heaney Working Library, a contemporary performance space and a café.  Playing a vital role in the contribution to the wider cultural regeneration of Parnell Square, the Poetry Ireland Centre will be a shared heritage space that can be enjoyed by the public, for generations to come. 

Watch a short video about Poetry Ireland’s plans for the Poetry Ireland Centre: https://youtu.be/LxdVzFqjQ2g 

About Poetry Ireland 

Poetry Ireland connects people and poetry. It is committed to achieving excellence in the reading, writing and performance of poetry throughout the island of Ireland.  Poetry Ireland receives support from The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and enjoys rewarding partnerships with arts centres, festivals, schools, colleges and bookshops at home and abroad. 

Poetry Ireland’s commitment to creating performance and publication opportunities for poets at all stages of their careers helps ensure that the best work is made available to the widest possible audience, securing a future for Irish poetry that is as celebrated as its past. 

Further information from Maureen Kennelly. Email director@poetryireland.ie Tel +353 1 678 9815