Not long after Ulysses was published in 1922, June 16th began to be called Bloomsday. The Oxford English Dictionary added an entry on Bloomsday in 2005 and cites the word’s first appearance in a letter Joyce wrote in June 1924. The practice of gathering together on the day to celebrate started early on as well, in 1929, when Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier invited Joyce and thirty other guests to a luncheon at the Léopold restaurant near Versailles to honor both the publication of the French translation of Ulysses and Bloomsday’s 25th anniversary. The lunch took place on June 27, eleven days after Bloomsday, but no one seemed to mind.
New York can lay claim to the longest continuous association of any city with Bloomsday. The James Joyce Society was founded at the late, lamented Gotham Book Mart in 1947. One of the Society’s meetings each year has usually been on Bloomsday. The annual readings at Symphony Space, broadcast on WBAI, began in 1981. This is Radio Bloomsday’s fourth annual reading devoted exclusively to radio performance and broadcast on the Pacifica Radio Network. So join us in celebrating Bloomsday’s 107th anniversary in the best way we can think of: listening to the people and the city of Dublin, and the day come alive in the words James Joyce gave us on the pages of Ulysses.