Re-Joyce! It’s Bloomsday 2021!

Bloomsday festivities taking place in Dublin, 2003. Photo credit: Flapdragon/Wikimedia Commons. Bloomsday festivities taking place in Dublin, 2003. Photo credit: Flapdragon/Wikimedia Commons.

“—But it’s no use, says he. Force, hatred, history, all that. That’s not life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it’s the very opposite of that that is really life.

—What? says Alf.

—Love, says Bloom. I mean the opposite of hatred.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses, “Cyclops”)

Need your Ulysses fix this year? Never fear, Bloomsday Montréal is here to bid you céad míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes) with their roster of events this year. As the city gradually opens up, come celebrate James Joyce and his most famous literary creations this year at the annual literary festival running from June 12th to June 16th. Its second pandemic-style celebration, this year features one in-person event and other events via Zoom (broadcasted simultaneously via YouTube). This year marks the tenth anniversary of the event and is not to be missed!

The opening act for this year’s festivities is called “Molly in Motion”. Acclaimed choreographer Margie Gillis will be presenting a work in progress and discuss her work with broadcaster Dennis Trudeau, a Bloomsday Montréal veteran. This free event kicks off at 2 pm and is sure to warm up your literary senses.

A Montréal Bloomsday would never be the same without its walking tour. For its first time during the pandemic, Donovan King will be leading the tour around Montréal live and in-person. In-person attendance is limited to twenty-five people, so act fast. If you are still interested but do not manage to snag a spot, this event will be held virtually as well. Get up at the crack of dawn to join Mr. King at 9:30 am, details to the meetup to be provided to participants. Finish up the day with a variety concert starting at 2 pm.

If you’re more interested in the academic side of Irish culture and history, Bloomsday Montréal has you covered on June 14th with its academic panels, held in two sessions spanning 10 am to 3 pm. You can look forward to learning and debating with some of the veterans as well as up-and-coming Joycean scholars.

Still wanting more? Learn about Irish history and even learn to cook soda bread on June 15th with events throughout the day. Writer and journalist Anne Lewis will also debut her memoir of meeting with the legendary Leonard Cohen in an exclusive session moderated by Dennis Trudeau, also to be held on June 15th.

Ending Bloomsday celebrations are two events, a series of readings hosted by Kevin Wright beginning at 11 am and the annual Molly Bloom reading by Kathleen Fee at 2 pm, with musical accompaniment by Geraldina Mendez.

The events are free, but registration will be required. Registration opens on June 2nd and the in-person walking tour promises to be booked quickly. Come celebrate Irish culture and all things James Joyce with the Bloomsday Montréal community!

Bloomsday Montréal runs from June 12-16th. For more information, visit their website (https://bloomsdaymontreal.com/).

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