Written on my Heart


James Joyce was a master of working even the finest details of his life and surroundings into his texts and getting into the hearts and minds of his characters to reveal their inner workings to the reader. As one of the greatest modernist writers of the 20th century, the treasure trove of his works inspire and influence writers to this day. To reflect the importance of his work and his impact on literature, the literary strand of the Bloomsday Festival offers a number of diverse events.


Explore James Joyce and his own literary influences with the Joyce & the Irish Literary Revival Walking Tour or the Joyce & Yeats Walking Tour. Both tours explore the conflicted relationship Joyce had with his contemporaries. To learn more about Joyce and his connections to another Irish writer, take in a special Bloomsday Festival tour of Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again where the guides will give you insights into Heaney’s life and show early drafts of his work.

To understand how far-reaching Joyce’s influence on world literature was and is, discover the presence of Joyce’s works in Italian culture at the International Bloomsday at the National Library or listen to the discussion between Norwegian writer Vigdis Hjorth and Dublin-based author June Caldwell On Joyce and Intimacy. They will confront the challenges and pleasures of shedding light on dark and complex aspects of modern life. Actor Janet Moran, who played Molly Bloom in the Abbey Theatre Production of Ulysses, will illustrate the discussion with readings from Joyce’s intimate works and letters. The event has been organised in association with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

Finnegans Wake is considered Joyce’s most difficult and obscure work. Join Lilliput Press for Celebrating Finnegans Wake through art, fables and literary discussion in honour of the book’s 80th birthday.


James Joyce famously said of his home city ‘‘When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart’’. Like the Dublin of Ulysses, contemporary Dublin is a vibrant multicultural cityscape, bursting with stories waiting to be told.

For Ulysses in Distant Lands, EPIC Ireland have commissioned three Irish-based writers with multicultural backgrounds to write their own personal odysseys – to give us a flavour of their own home places, whether Ireland or further afield, those places that will be inscribed upon their hearts forever. The evening will feature Ciaran O’Rourke, Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi, Adam Wyeth and Erin Fornoff as well as music from Farah Elle. This year’s Poetry Brothel also celebrates the city itself, the characters and situations of Dublin common to us all. Like Wandering Rocks transmigrating through this city from dawn until dusk (from birth until death), it is Dublin herself that is the star of the show.

This year at the Bloomsday Festival 2019 we are asking What’s your Bloomsday Story? We hope all these writers and poets who find inspiration in Joyce’s life and works, will encourage you to create your own stories based on James Joyce, his works, Dublin or Bloomsday.

Marty GilroyBlog, News