The Arts

In association with Sligo Today

New York Performance Group for Sligo Bealtaine Festival

Added: 03/05/18 : 06:57:17

New York Performance Group to play Sligo as part of the Bealtaine Festival
The month of May sees the return of the annual Bealtaine festival, a month-long national celebration of the arts and creativity as a life-long journey.
This year the festival is 23 years old but shows no signs of slowing down with its most ambitious programme of events yet. ‘Be Our Guest’ is the first in a three-year-themed event showcasing the very best of Ireland’s older artists in theatre, literature, visual arts, dance and music. 

A highlight of the nationwide ‘Be Our Guest’ programme is Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) by the wonderful Split Britches duo of Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

This ‘Bealtaine on Tour’ special lands in Sligo’s The Factory Performance Space on Friday 4th May.

Combining a Dr Strangelove-inspired performance, Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) explores ageing, anxiety, hidden desires and how to look forward when the future is uncertain. In our Situation Room, twelve audience members are invited to become a Council of Elders to discuss the global issues of the day, as the company weave in satirical insights and humour in the guise of Strangelove’s general and president.
This event runs alngside an incredible programme of Bealtaine events hosted by Sligo Arts Service.
Age & Opportunity acknowledges the principal support of the Arts Council of Ireland for the Bealtaine festival.
For more information visit

 Pictured in County Hall at the Civic Reception for Yeats Society were (Back) Chairman of Yeats Society, Chris Gonley, former President Damien Brennan, Councillor Tom MacSharry, Councillor Rosaleen O'Grady, Donal Tinney, County Librarian, former President Joe Cox. (Front) Mayor of Sligo Municipal District Councillor Hubert Keaney, former President Maura McTighe, Cathaoirleach Councillor Seamus Kilgannon, Former President Martin Enright Civic Reception honours 60 years of Yeats Society

Added: 25/05/18 : 08:05:21

Sligo County Council hosted a Civic Reception for the Board and membership of the Yeats Society to celebrate their sixty years of outstanding service.

The reception was hosted by Cathaoirleach Councillor Seamus Kilgannon, and other speakers were former President Yeats Society Maura McTighe and current Chairman of the Board, Chris Gonley.  Also in attendance were Mayor of Sligo Municipal District Councillor Hubert Keaney, Councillor Tom MacSharry and Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady. Former Presidents of the Yeats Society who attended along with Maura McTighe were Damien Brennan, Joe Cox and Martin Enright.

In his address the Cathaoirleach said the reception was being hosted ‘to honour those special people who have served, and those who continue to serve the Yeats Society with such distinction. From the time the Society was established over 60 years ago, successive committees and countless members and volunteers have worked with passion, energy and spirit to promote and preserve the cultural legacy of Sligo’s most iconic literary figure.

Through your work, you have brought a new appreciation of the wonderful landscape that inspired and enchanted Yeats.  The unifying theme that has characterised all your endeavours is ‘inclusion.’  There may have been a time long ago when the magical world of Yeats was perceived in some quarters as the exclusive preserve of the academic or literary historian, through your efforts, this is certainly not the case today. All that is required of the reader is a sense of imagination and wonder.

The key agencies in Sligo are committed to establishing Sligo as a key centre for cultural tourism in the northwest and to celebrate and promote our cultural influence on the international stage. Any strategy to realise this ambition must be focused on the life  and works of WB and Jack Yeats.

While Jack B Yeats and WB Yeats are cultural icons of international repute, their inspiration was decidedly local. Jack B. Yeats famously remarked that he never created a painting which did not have in it "at least a thought of Sligo", and he was greatly influenced by the people and the landscape of this beautiful county.

Similarly, Seamus Heaney referred to WB Yeats’ ‘Loving evocation’ of Sligo in his works, observing that he changed the intellectual climate of the country to promote his vision of Ireland as an independent cultural identity.  While Sligo was also WB Yeats’ spiritual home, he had a universal message that is appreciated and cherished by generations of people all over the world. Through the International Summer School and Yeats Day, you encourage people to re-appraise and enjoy his work, to offer exciting new perspectives through various artistic and literary mediums.

Over the years you have ensured that the vision articulated by the Society’s founding members has been honoured, and you ensure this vision is lovingly conveyed to a new generation.

In 2017 Sligo celebrated its status as ‘European Capital of Volunteering, an accolade which was bestowed in recognition of the outstanding contribution volunteers such as the Yeats Society.  In this context, I will pay a public and heart-felt tribute to the  many volunteers who have been the heart-beat and inspiration of your Society, the discreet, modest, unassuming members we honour this evening.’

The Cathaoirleach concluded his  address by thanking the guests for their special contribution ‘All our guests in this chamber should feel a deep sense of pride  for their  outstanding work over many years, your  infectious passion and  enthusiasm  has been a cherished gift in  our community, a gift that is greatly appreciated.’
iYeats International Poetry Competition 2018 now open

Added: 23/05/18 : 07:09:47

The iYeats International Poetry Competition 2018 is now open for entries!

The annual online international poetry competition has won a prestigious reputation for the calibre of both entrants and judges. The competition is open to all those who are sixteen years of age and upwards.

There is an award of €500 for the winner of the General Category and €300 is awarded to the winner of the Emerging Category for those aged between 16-25 years of age. This poetry competition was launched by the Hawk's Well Theatre in 2009 to mark the 50th Yeats International Summer School and the 70th anniversary of the death of W. B Yeats.

This theatre has announced that this year’s judges for the iYeats Poetry Competition are highly respected poets Martin Dyar and Grace Wells.

Martin Dyar grew up in Swinford, County Mayo. His debut poetry collection Maiden Names (Arlen House), described by the poet Bernard O’Donoghue as ‘a thrilling new development in Irish poetry’, was shortlisted for both the Pigott Poetry Prize and the Shine/Strong Award. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2009, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award in 2001.

                                                             Martin Dyar

He has also written a play, Tom Loves a Lord, about the Irish poet Thomas Moore. His work has been added to the Leaving Cert prescribed poetry syllabus and has been included in the anthologies Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 (Penguin); and Everything to Play For: Ninety-nine Poems About Sport (Poetry Ireland). Formerly a fellow in creative writing at the University of Iowa, and a writer in residence at the Washington Ireland Programme, he holds the 2018 Arts Council writer in residence fellowship at the University of Limerick.

                                                   Grace Wells

Grace Wells’ debut poetry collection, When God Has Been Called Away to Greater Things (Dedalus Press, 2010), won the Rupert and Eithne Strong Award and was shortlisted for the London Festival Fringe New Poetry Award. Her second collection Fur (Dedalus Press, 2015) expanded the boundaries of eco-poetics, and was lauded by Poetry Ireland Review as 'a book that enlarges the possibilities of poetry’.

Reflecting the truly global impact of the competition; the 2017 winner was poet Tammy Armstrong, Nova Scotia, Canada, for her poem ‘The Varying Hare’. The emerging winner for poets of 16-25 years of age was Cynthia Miller, Birmingham U.K. with her work ‘The Last Hour on the Flight Deck’.  Previous award winning poems are available to read on the Hawk’s well theatre’s website.

The closing date for entries into the iYeats International Poetry Competition is Friday 29th June (GM), at 4pm. As this is an online poetry competition, entrants can visit the Hawk’s Well website for further information on the competition terms and conditions and to upload and submit their entries.

Visit for further details.
Photo: Catriona Bonner Macbeth at The Glens

Added: 27/04/18 : 12:04:22

New York City. 1996. The world is a blurry, neon, sweaty daze and the Club Kids rule the party scene with no signs of slowing down.

It's long past midnight but behind the glamour, glitter and late-night raves, something wicked this way comes...

This colourful take on the William Shakespeare’s Macbeth will make you think of the bard’s writing in a whole new way.

With compelling visuals and a soundtrack to remember, it is perfect for those who are both new and seasoned in Shakespeare.

as part of the Where We Are Now LGBT+ Theatre Festival
2pm, 2nd May
8.30pm, 3rd May
The Glens Centre, New Line, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim
(071) 9855833