William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) is one of Ireland’s most revered poets and playwrights. His work has been widely circulated and anthologised. Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 13 June 1865 but moved to Chiswick, London, in 1867 due to his father’s career as a lawyer and did not return to Ireland until 1881, where he studied at the Metropolitan School of Art. It was here that he met fellow poet George Russell who shared his interest in mysticism. In 1885, Yeats had his first poems published in the Dublin University Review, in 1887 he returned with his family to Chiswick, and 1890 saw him along with Ernest Rhys form the Rhymers’ Club, a group of poets who would meet in Fleet Street, London, during 1891–94. Along with playwright Lady Gregory, he founded the Irish Theatre, which later became the Abbey Theatre. The Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to him in 1923. In his literary career he wrote many poems, plays, short stories and articles which covered many aspects from folklore to politics. He was also the editor of the controversial Oxford Book of Modern Verse 1892–1935 (1936). W.B. Yeats died in 1939 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, but his coffin was later moved to Ireland.