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New Orleans celebrates Joyce’s 'Ulysses' with Bloomsday

Clockwise, from top left: Yuri Herrera, Katy Simpson Smith, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Michael Allen Zell, Mwende Katwiwa, Brian Boyles (not pictured: James Joyce)

Clockwise, from top left: Yuri Herrera, Katy Simpson Smith, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Michael Allen Zell, Mwende Katwiwa, Brian Boyles (not pictured: James Joyce)

New Orleans will celebrate James Joyce’s Ulysses with a Bloomsday get-together featuring some of the city’s most exciting writers. Yuri Herrera, Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa, Benjamin Morris, Brian Boyles, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, and Katy Simpson Smith will be among those who conduct a marathon reading of the towering Irish novel from 6 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, at the Irish House (1432 St. Charles Ave.). Booze and food, of course, will be available to participants and spectators alike. Michael Allen Zell is the organizer and host. The event is free and open to the public, and anyone who would like can read.

Cities throughout the world celebrate Bloomsday each June 16, the single day on which Joyce set Ulysses, and also the date of his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle. New Orleanians have gotten together for the literary holiday at the Irish House since 2012.

Yuri Herrera is a famous Mexican novelist and Tulane professor. The first English-language translation of his work, Signs Preceding the End of the World, came out last spring.

Mwende “Freequency” Katwiwa is a spoken word artist, poet, and essayist. She has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and many other outlets. Her chapbook Becoming//Black was released this spring.

Benjamin Morris’ is the author of Hattiesburg, Mississippi: A History. His work has been published in the Oxford American, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Guardian, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere.

Brian Boyles’ first book, New Orleans Boom and Blackout, was chosen as the One Book One New Orleans title for 2015. He is also Vice President of Content for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin was the winner of the 2014 Iowa Review award. His work has appeared in Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, Massachusetts Review, and other places.

Katy Simpson Smith is a historian and novelist. She is the author of the novel The Story of Land and Sea, a widely celebrated 2014 title, and a book of history We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835.

Michael Allen Zell is an author, playwright, and bookseller in New Orleans.

This article was reposted from Press Street: Room 220, a NolaVie content partner.