The 2nd Annual Bloomsday in Brooklyn will take place on Saturday, June 18, along the Fifth Avenue corridor. So it's not literally on the literary day itself, but it means that those who want to go to the well-established events on the Thursday can extend their celebrations into the weekend by joining with the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the City of Brooklyn at 2 p.m. at the Black Sheep, 428 Bergen St.
"We got more than 80 people last year, and we were competing with the USA vs. England game in the World Cup," recalled lawyer John W. Burns, one of the organizers.
The actors and readers will then proceed to Union Hall on Union Street (where Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes will read). Next will be the Benchmark Restaurant, at 2nd Street and 5th Avenue, and the party will then go on to Jackie's Fifth Amendment on 7th Street, a "legitimate Brooklyn dive bar," according to Burns. Next the "Ulysses" lovers will be seen at Harry Boland's on 9th Street, and will gather finally in Freddy's at 627 Fifth Ave., at 17th, a bar that has relocated from the Atlantic Yards.
Admission will be free, but everybody will be encouraged (though not required) to buy a special $10 mug to help defray the costs. The mug will entitle its owner to discounts in each of the bars along the route.
"We'll have a piper with us, Garry Cheddy," said Burns, adding that singing group Box O' Crayons will join the other entertainers at Freddy's.
Hurley accepts Audies
The Audies are the Oscars of spoken-word entertainment in the U.S., and singer/songwriter Joe Hurley was on hand recently to accept two on behalf of Keith Richards' memoir "Life," including the top award of the evening.
Hurley collaborated with Johnny Depp (who already has an Oscar) on the audio version of the critically acclaimed book by the Rolling Stone guitarist and vocalist.
"Life" won out against "The Woody Allen Collection," narrated by the man himself, and "The Red Pyramid" for the honor of being audio book of the year. It also won in the best biography category.
Duffy's next book
Peter Duffy will return for his third book to the same period of history that featured in his first, "The Bielski Brothers," which was published in 2003. But whereas that non-fiction work was set mainly in Belarus, the action in "Double Agent: America's Fifth Column and the Smashing of Hitler's Most Dangerous Spy Ring," will take place closer to home - in New York's Nazi underground.
Duffy recently signed a contract with Scribner to write it. His most recent book was "The Killing of Major Denis Mahon: A Tale of Old Ireland," about a well-known incident in 1847 in the Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, area, where he has ancestral roots (as I do). That was a great read, and I'm sure that "Double Agent" will be worth the wait.