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Embassy event to celebrate Bloomsday & Yeatsday, 16 June

On Tuesday 16 June, the Embassy of Ireland will host a public lunchtime event at Dupont Circle to celebrate two of Ireland’s greatest writers, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce.   The open air concert will take place from 12.30 to 1.30pm featuring music and readings from the works of both Joyce and Yeats.  

Winning entry of the Bloomsday-Yeatsday art competition from Barrie Maguire. Artwork provided by Barrie Maguire

Bloomsday, on 16 June, is celebrated in Dublin and around the world each year. It marks the date, 16 June 1904, on which James Joyce’s literary masterpiece Ulysses is set, and is named after the central character, Leopold Bloom. Another literary milestone falls in mid-June this year: the 150th anniversary of the birth of Nobel laureate poet, W.B. Yeats, who was born on 13 June 1865. A year-long worldwide programme of cultural and artistic events, Yeats2015, is currently underway.

To celebrate both occasions, the Embassy is inviting Washingtonians to join them for a lunchtime get-together. On Bloomsday, it is traditional to dress in period costume. The participants of the annual Washington DC Bloomsday Bike Rally will be joining us at Dupont Circle in Edwardian dress!

The readings at the Dupont Circle event will be by:

• Gregory Baker, Assistant Professor of English, Director of Irish Studies Catholic University of America
• Christopher Griffin, Professor of English, George Washington University
• Coilin Owens, Professor Emeritus, English Department, George Mason University
• Fionnuala Quinn, organiser of the annual Washington DC Bloomsday Bike Rally

For the music, John Feeley, Ireland’s leading classical guitarist and Fran O’Rourke, a singer and professor of philosophy at University College Dublin will perform a selection of music related to Joyce and Yeats.

Ambassador Anne Anderson noted:

"I look forward to welcoming both new and familiar faces at our celebration of two of Ireland’s greatest writers - James Joyce and William Butler Yeats. Both are giants of world literature and have helped shape the emotional and literary landscape we inhabit today. It is with great pleasure that we mark these two occasions together and celebrate these two writers of genius."

Visit our events page for more information.