Celebrate Bloomsday with us!

WHEN: Sunday, June 16th, 7-9 pm
WHERE: The People’s Pint Pub, 24 Federal Street, Greenfield, MA

To draw attention to their non-profit organization and mission, The Literacy Project (TLP) is hosting Bloomsday, pub-style, on June 16th, along with multitudes around the globe. Revelers can enjoy select readings from James Joyce’s Ulysses at The People's Pint and the favorite meal of the fictitious Leopold Bloom--Gorgonzola sandwiches and red wine--plus photo ops with a bust of Joyce himself, singing, dancing and stories, and decidedly Irish pints. 

The Literacy Project’s underlying motivation for bringing Bloomsday to Western Massachusetts for its third year is to make revelers and others aware of TLP’s organization and mission, which is to provide free adult learning services—basic reading skills; GED or high school equivalency exam prep; and college readiness prep through classes and on-line learning—to residents of Franklin, Hampshire, and western Worcester counties. 

The epic tome, filled with sweeping language and rambling stream-of-consciousness thought, is often considered daunting by skilled readers. Says Joe Panzica, GED teacher in Greenfield, “The beauty of Ulysses is that whether you are a PhD or a GED candidate, everyone needs help to understand it; everyone is in the same boat, reading Ulysses.” 

Panzica, who has been teaching for 25 years, has used Ulysses in the past as a vehicle for preparing GED students for the test. One student, who has read at Bloomsday for the last two years, is planning on reading again this year because, as she says, "If it helps the Literacy Project, I'm glad to do it."

Bloomsday is a tradition that spans the globe from Dublin, Ireland, Joyce’s hometown, where the celebration began, to Brooklyn, New York; from Genoa, Italy to Szombathely, Hungary—the very real town where the fictional Bloom's father was born. In urban areas like these, Bloomsday is celebrated pub-crawl style. 

The Literacy Project’s Bloomsday, however, takes place in just one family-friendly pub, The People’s Pint, in Greenfield, Massachusetts, where pints will be flowing and select readings from Ulysses will take place from 7-9 pm. 

Judith Roberts, Executive Director of TLP, comments, "The Literacy Project is thrilled celebrate Bloomsday at The People's Pint because we believe passionately in literature, reading and writing. Bloomsday celebrates literature, and gives us a chance to shine a light on the 500 courageous men and women who come to our classrooms in Hampshire and Franklin County to improve their literacy skills every year."

Among short readings from the twisty, gorgeous passages of Ulysses by local luminaries— including Rabbi Weiner of the Jewish Community of Amherst, a Joyce Scholar—will be lively Irish music from the Irish Sessions Band and Rosemary Caine, Harpist, featuring an original song about Molly Bloom—plus dance from Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance. 

Edwardian costumes are welcome—think bowler hats, caps, and shawls, and long skirts—for an authentic photo opportunity with a plaster-cast bust of James Joyce. 

No cover charge but donations to The Literacy Project are welcome. 

Supported by the People’s Pint and Greenfield Co-operative Bank.