You won't have to be in Dublin this Bloomsday to absorb the full James Joyce experience. The Irish writer will be celebrated on his famous day in three of New York's boroughs, his spirit falling generally and gently over the streets of Brooklyn and Queens, and over a green sward in Manhattan.
The Irish American Bar Association of New York, with the support of Culture Ireland and the Consul General of New York, will be holding a Joyce gathering in the Supreme Court Rotunda, 60 Centre Street, Brooklyn beginning at 6 p.m.
"James Joyce did not just give us one of the greatest works of world literature. He also gave us a landmark ruling in First Amendment jurisprudence. Join us on June 16, when we celebrate Bloomsday, the day memorialized in Joyce's masterwork, Ulysses, and Ireland's contribution to the principle of free speech, said IABANY in a release.
Added the release: Our keynote speaker, Kathleen Sullivan, former Dean of Stanford Law School, will deliver the John Quinn Memorial Address, named after the famed Irish-American lawyer who represented Joyce's publishers in their criminal prosecution for obscenity.
Sullivan's address will be followed by a re-enactment of the argument before Judge John Woolsey in 1933 in U.S.A. v. One Book Called Ulysses, in which Judge Woolsey issued the "brave and ground-breaking decision" that Ulysses was a work of art not obscenity.
"The Honorable Gerard E. Lynch, United States Circuit Judge, has graciously agreed to play the part of Judge John Woolsey. The Hon. Charles J. Hynes, Brooklyn D.A., will play the role of the (reluctant) prosecutor, Sam Coleman. New Yorker General Counsel Lynn Oberlander will play the role of defense lawyer Morris Ernst," the release stated.
The event is free to members, who will be given priority registration," said IABANY president, Domhnall O'Cathain.
Meanwhile, in Queens, the appropriately named Molly Blooms on Queens Boulevard will play host to stage and screen star Fionnula Flanagan at an event in celebration of Joyce beginning at 5.30 p.m.
Flanagan is widely regarded as the foremost interpreter of Joyce's women characters.
Each year on June 16 Flanagan performs at the Bloomsday Live celebrations at Symphony Space in Manhattan, where her appearance is the highlight of the annual festival of Joyce's work.
At the Molly Blooms event, Joyce fans will also hear a reading of "Eveline," from "Dubliner's and performed by actress Jo Kinsella. A brief discussion of Joyce's life and work will be presented by Professor Richard Marotta of Queens College. Any and all attending the event are invited to dress in the style of 1904, the year that Joyce's masterpiece "Ulysses" is set. On Bloomsday morning, Culture Ireland and the Irish Arts Center will be hosting "a Bloomsday Breakfast in Bryant Park," thus giving New York an early start in what will be worldwide celebrations of the famous calendar date in literature.