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Did you know one of the most famous Irish poets in history once lectured in Tacoma?

It’s true! On March 22, 1920, William Butler Yeats gave a speech at Tacoma’s First Congregational Church under the auspices of the Tacoma Dramatic League. Considered one of the twentieth century’s key English-language poets, Yeats was widely considered a Symbolist, due to his belief that art should aim to capture absolute truths that can only be accessed by indirect methods. More than four hundred Tacomans listened to him share some of his poetry. Yeats also discussed the theatre scene in Dublin, particularly the Abbey Theatre, an organization that would later become the first state-subsidized theatre in the English-speaking world. Three years later, Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

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