The latest Special Collections display, ‘The Balloon of the Mind’: Yeats, Donnelly and Cuala Press, explores the poetry of William Butler Yeats amid the turmoil in Ireland in the early 20th century, the private press run by his sister Elizabeth, and the rich collection of modern Irish literature amassed by New Zealand journalist and author Ian Donnelly.
The display showcases choice items from the collection assembled by Donnelly (1901-1956), a newspaper journalist and editor for 35 years in Christchurch, Auckland and Timaru. Among the volumes are the Cuala Press editions of Yeats’ poetry which he purchased from Elizabeth Yeats during a ‘pilgrimage’ to Dublin in 1935,1 the poet’s influential 1928 collection, The Tower, and works by other key figures from the Irish Literary Revival.
Curated by Professor Michele Leggott, letterpress printer and MA student Makyla Curtis, and Special Collections Assistant Librarian Jo Birks, the display runs until 9 June outside Special Collections, Level G of the General Library.
1 Elder, A. & Donnelly, I. (2011). Irish pilgrimage: Ian Donnelly’s journal of 1935 visit to Dublin. Waiheke Island: A Elder.