JUNE 16 1904 is the date when James Joyce's novel Ulysses is set. It was the date of his own first date with Nora Barnacle, and June 16 is today Bloomsday, the annual event celebrating Joyce's most famous novel.
Nora Barnacle was originally from Galway - her house can still be visited in Bowling Green - so it is appropriate the city mark this most auspicious of literary commemorations.
The build-up to Bloomsday begins this Saturday at 4pm in the Galway Arts Centre, Dominick Street, with a symposium entitled Women In The Life and Work of Yeats and Joyce, with speakers Gerry Hanberry, Fionnuala Gallagher, Des Caden, Tony Carroll, and Mary Clancy.
On Bloomsday itself, which falls on Tuesday, there will be a lecture with NUI Galway's Dr Brian Arkins in the Galway Arts Centre at 6pm examining the Greek themes in Joyce and Yeats' writings.
Then at 8pm in the Nuns Island Theatre there will be a concert entitled Nora At Nuns Island with soprano Sandra Schalks and composer Tom Cullivan. The show, created by Cullivan, will see Schalks impersonate Nora Barnacle, through 16 concert songs, operatic arias, and ballads, of the kind Nora loved to sing. These will be worked into a narrative thread of the sage and perceptive observations for which she was famous, as gleaned from Joyce's writings. Tickets are €15/12.50
For more information about Bloomsday events contact the Galway Arts Center on 091 - 565886.