W.B. Yeats and the Art of the Book

The poet and Book Design
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 (7 ratings)
330 students
32min of on-demand video

Knowledge of poetry of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats
Understanding of expressive aspects of book design
Introduction to Ireland and Irish Fairy
Knowledge of Irish landscape


  • There are no advanced requirements, tools or skills necessary to taking this course


William Butler Yeats is a legendary Nobel Prize winning Irish poet and author of famous works including No Second Coming, Leda and the Swan and the Lake Isle of Inisfree. His collections of poetry include the Tower and the Winding Stair. He was a mover and innovator in the period of the Irish cultural revolution and did much to establish and develop the reputation of Irish literature and culture at the foundation of the Irish Free State.

Yeats trained as an artist in his youth and throughout his life was an impassioned observer of developments in both the visual arts and literature. His enthusiasm for the visual found expression in stage design at the Abbey Theatre and in the physical production of his books. W.B. Yeats and the Art of the Book provides a cameo of insight into the poet's engagement with book design on just one of his many collections of poetry: The Wind Among the Reeds. It provides information on collaboration between Yeats and book designers including the Irish designer and artist, Althea Gyles. Background and information is provided on Ireland and on Irish fairy referred to Yeats’s poetry. And finally, we examine the importance of the relation, for Yeats, between the physical book and the poetry it contains.

Who this course is for:

  • Poets who are interested in the relation of words to material page and book
  • Book designers
  • Students mythology and the supernatural
  • Those interested in Ireland and Irish culture and fairy traditions


Specialist in Irish literature and in Irish myth and legend.
Bernadette McCarthy
  • 4.6 Instructor Rating
  • 41 Reviews
  • 817 Students
  • 4 Courses

Dr. Bernadette McCarthy is a specialist in Irish literature and in Irish myth and legend. She lives in Ireland where she was awarded her Phd by University College Cork. Her teaching includes courses on Irish culture, literature and the arts in University College Cork, University of Limerick and in her own West Cork College. Dr. McCarthy has published on William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf and continues her research and writing in Baltimore, Cork in the South West of Ireland.

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