Yeats Initiative at Notre Dame

Selected Poems/ Yeats. Macmillan 1921 (Hesburgh Libraries)

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) is widely considered to be one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century.
In 1923, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Yeats visited Notre Dame twice—in 1904 and 1933.

Our Hesburgh Libraries' Irish Studies Collection contains a rich collection of Yeats books, including several first editions.

Our Institute is exploring opportunities on campus and in Ireland that will contribute to scholarship on Yeats and illuminate his work, particularly for a new generation of students.

To formally inaugurate the Yeats Initiative, we will host a lecture by James Flannery, Winship Professor Emeritus of the Arts and Humanities at Emory University and Founding Director of the W. B. Yeats Foundation, on October 26. It is titled “Memories and Prophecies: The ‘Total Theatre’ of W.B. Yeats."

Dr. Colleen Taylor, the first Yeats postdoctoral fellow, began at the Institute in Fall 2022. She is embarking on a new project that examines Irish culture through the lens of "the blue humanities."

Dr. Julian Breandán Dean, Program Manager, Literature Initiatives, at the Keough-Naughton Institute, is teaching an undergraduate course this Fall 2022 term on world drama that incorporates Yeats' plays. He is also leading a Fall 2022 Yeats reading group for Notre Dame graduate students. [Please contact Dr. Dean at if you are interested in joining the reading group.] Read his essay on "Why a Yeats Initiative?"

We plan to host exhibits, hold conferences and graduate seminars, and initiate other Yeats-themed activities both on campus and abroad.



Portrait of W. B. Yeats after John Singer Sargent. Frontispiece, Yeats, W. B. The Poems. London: Macmillan, 1921.
Hesburgh Libraries, Irish Studies Collection