Bloomsday in the United States
"Love loves to love love."
Bloomsday - 16 June - is amongst Ireland’s most celebrated contributions to the global cultural calendar. Set on a single day in a single city, James Joyce’s Ulysses is both the great Dublin novel and a universal work, encompassing all human life in a way no literary work had attempted before, and which few, if any, have matched since.
Although Bloomsday is a global celebration, few nations celebrate it with as much flair as the United States. This year, more than a dozen U.S. cities will mark the occasion with drama, readings, concerts and festivals, featuring an array of incredible artistic performers.
A year out from the novel’s centennial, Ireland’s Embassy and Consulates across the U.S. are also collaborating with some of the nation’s best-loved independent bookstores to gift Ulysses to readers across America. Seven of our diplomatic missions are each sharing 99 copies of the novel through local networks, with in-store events promoting contemporary Irish literature.
So whether it’s with an all-star cast on Broadway or Philadelphia’s Rosenbach, over breakfast on the west coast or an evening burgundy in Maine or Minnesota, we hope that you’ll join us this year in celebrating the novel that celebrates us. And that, ahead of the centennial, you’ll make this the summer you start – and finish - Joyce’s masterpiece.
- San Diego Public Library marks its 11th annual Bloomsday celebration with a dramatic recitation of ‘‘Molly's Soliloquy", the novel’s celebrated final episode.
- In San Francisco, meanwhile, following a Breakfast with Bloomsday in conjunction with the Consulate General, the University of California Berkeley will launch U22: The Centenary Ulysses Podcast, a new series exploring readers’ journeys through Ulysses, and the challenges and the pleasures they meet along the way.
- Alongside a wider promotion of contemporary Irish fiction, the Consulate General in San Francisco is gifting 99 copies of Ulysses through City Lights bookstore in North Beach.
- In Atlanta, Nuala O’Connor, author of the acclaimed Nora, joins Emory’s University’s Geraldine Higgins, Consul General Ciara O’Floinn and others on 16 June for ‘‘In Praise of Women’’. This program, a collaboration between the Consulate General of Ireland Atlanta and an Arís Theatre, celebrates the women in Joyce’s life and work, above all Nora Barnacle, the inspiration for Molly Bloom.
- In the Twin Cities, Irish Network Minnesota host their fourth annual Bloomsday Festival, with an online programme and an in person watch party on the evening of 16 June.
- The Consulate General in Boston and The Here Comes Everybody Players reprise “Finnegans Wake – Made Easy!” as part of Omniscientific Joyce – The 27th International James Joyce Symposium, running from 14 to 18 June.
- The Maine Irish Heritage Centre collaborates with the American Irish Repertory Ensemble to present Ulysses for Beginners on 16 June.
- Finally, the Irish Culture Centre of New England in Canton will host a Bloomsday Celebration on 20 June.
- Origin Theatre hosts a Bloomsday Revel both online and in person at Blooms’ Tavern, Midtown on 13 June.
- The University of Buffalo, home to perhaps the world’s greatest collection of Joycean material, unveils a fabulous new Joyce mural on 14 June.
- On 16 June, meanwhile, Symphony Space in partnership with Irish Arts Center presents the acclaimed “Bloomsday on Broadway XXXX”. The 40th anniversary of this New York favorite boasts a stunning line up, including Michael Chabon, Regina Porter and the inimitable Colm Tóibín, and a first look at Elevator Repair Service’s new adaptation of the novel.
- Having feasted on Joyce all day, New Yorkers can round off the evening with the James Joyce Society and the Irish American Writers and Artists’, whose Bloomsday 2021 Nighttown Uptown celebrates the Circe episode.
- Finally, as part of a wider promotion of Irish literature, the Consulate General in New York will be gifting 99 copies of Ulysses at the Center for Fiction in New York City & 99 at Talking Leaves Buffalo.
- In Portland, the brilliant Blooms & Barnacles are compiling a special episode of their podcast featuring friends from across the globe reading favourite sections from the novel.
- The Rosenbach in Philadelphia, home to another of the world’s great Joycean archive, is running a series of in person and digital events through June, culminating in the premiere of a new film ‘‘I Said Yes: A Celebration of Bloomsday at The Rosenbach’’ on the 16th.
- PICT Classic Theatre in Pittsburgh, meanwhile, presents its second annual Bloomsday celebration, with 12 episodes performed across the day in a programme hosted by Alan Stanford.
- The Embassy hosts ‘Bloom’ - its first in-person event since the onset of the pandemic - on 11 June, at which Ambassador Mulhall will present copies of Ulysses to 50 guests.
- Politics & Prose will host a ‘‘lemon soap hunt’’ on 16 June, with readers gifted copies of the novel and an invitation to a Ulysses masterclass at the Ambassador’s residence later this year.
- DC Public Libraries will host a Bloomsday scavenger hunt across several branches where readers will receive a copy of Ulysses and a custom Bloomsday bookmark.
- The Ambassador has just posted the last of eighteen episode blogs, guiding readers through the Ulyssean labyrinth – you’ll find them all here.
- American University’s Osher LifeLong Learning Institute presents Bloomsday by OLLI on 16 June, hosted by PBS’s Robert Aubry Davis.
- For their 24th annual Bloomsday celebration, Wild Geese Seattle will stage dramatic readings from Cyclops, perhaps Ulysses’ funniest episode.