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|Process:||Recommendation from the Department of English|
|Description:||Awarded to an English Major or Honours student with a minimum average of 80% who has contributed significantly to the intellectual and social life of the Department. This award will normally be given to a graduating student, but may be awarded to a derserving non-graduating student.|
|Background:||This annual award was established anonymously in the name of William Butler Yeats. The anonymous donor felt more awards were needed for high-achieving English students at UPEI and requested the award be named after the famous Irish poet, WB Yeats. William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), considered by many to be the greatest poet of the 20th century, was born in Dublin. A complex personality, Yeats was an Irish nationalist who helped found the Irish Literary Society first in London (1891) and then in Dublin (1892). He was a driving force within the Irish Literary Revival of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, committed to the forging of a distinct Irish cultural identity and the creation of an Irish national theatre. Yet he was also wary of nationalism, especially if it created a narrow nationalist fervour, and of the parochialism and provincialism that nationalism encouraged. Yeats was both a distinctly Irish and a resolutely cosmopolitan poet: in his poetry and plays he revives Irish names, rhythms, syntax, and symbols, and yet he transforms them into a contemporary, colloquial English that is reflective of all human experience.|
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