Guinness and Poetry: Bloomsday

James Joyce fans fete their favorite author, at the Hammer.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Guinness
    Raising a Guinness is a traditional part of Bloomsday. The James Joyce-themed celebration goes down at the Hammer Museum on Monday, June 16.

    Not every writer becomes famous, you might have heard, and not every writer who becomes famous reaches a lofty place where they earn their very own holiday.

    Sure, Charles Dickens may be associated with Christmas, and any number of horror writers with Halloween, but only a few authors are associated with a day made just for them.

    Bloomsday is such a day, and Irish giant James Joyce is the honoree. Mr. Joyce's "Ulysses" actually receives the literary spotlight come Bloomsday, as fans gather together to read passages, reflect on its meaning, stature, and wide influence, and drink Guinness.

    Oh, yes, the lifting of the pints. That shall go down, alongside the tributes, reflections, and orating, at the Hammer Museum on Monday, June 16. The Westwood institution observes Bloomsday each year, with a night of convivial book-lovey high jinks and a few high-minded moments devoted to the written word and Mr. Joyce's long-shadowed legacy.

    It's free to attend, but Guinness cash? Pocket some dollars ahead of time.

    "Ulysses" was banned in the U.S. for over a decade -- you know that -- a host of actors will show at the Hammer to celebrate its many-layered path to greatness. The Guinness sipping and eating of "Irish fare" starts at 5:30, and resumes after the mid-evening readings in the Billy Wilder Theatre. There shall be the playing of Irish tunes, too.

    Nope, St. Patrick's Day isn't the only holiday where the Emerald Isle makes a grand stand.

    And as for the free part? All of the Hammer's public programs are free, but so is the Hammer, now. Want to wander the galleries? You can, any day of the week, without paying a dime. Well, parking costs, but getting in the door is a cashless enterprise.

    Raising a Guinness and some stirring words to that.

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