June 16 is observed around the world as a celebration of James Joyce and his epic Ulysses, a novel that has been called everything from masterfully moving to hilariously obscene. Nowhere in the United States is this global literary holiday marked with more excitement than in Philadelphia, where the manuscript for Ulysses has made its home at the Rosenbach since 1924.
This year, the Rosenbach will commemorate Bloomsday with the traditional day-long public reading of Ulysses on Delancey Place from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on June 16. This rollicking recital features celebrity readers including actors Michael Toner and Drucie McDaniel, among other literati, artists, public figures, and familiar personalities from Philadelphia and beyond. The readings are free and open to the public, and the Rosenbach’s historic home and current exhibition will be open for unguided exploration at no cost.
The Rosenbach has partnered with several neighboring organizations to enrich the Bloomsday experience for Ulysses enthusiasts and novices alike. Singers from the Academy of Vocal Arts will bring the novel’s tavern songs and arias to life. Grey Lodge Pub proprietor Mike “Scoats” Scotese will operate the Rosenbach’s first-ever Bloomsday beer garden, with selections on tap inspired by Ulysses’s famous pub scenes. Delancey Place will also host local food trucks, including Foolish Waffles and 2 Street Sammies.
Undergraduate and graduate students in the tri-state area can enter essays in the inaugural Bloomsday Essay Contest, organized by University of Pennsylvania Department of English and Villanova Center for Irish Studies, and funded by a generous grant from longtime Bloomsday supporters Lenni Steiner and Perry Lerner. Other community partners include Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, Inis Nua Theatre Company, Irish Immigration Center, and Irish American Business Chamber & Network.
To learn more about Bloomsday at the Rosenbach, visit rosenbach.org.
This post originall appeared on the Rosenblog.