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Author: Conor

Closure Dates: 24th & 25th May 2024

The James Joyce Centre will be closed to visitors on the 24th and 25th of May 2024. This is being done to facilitate the installation of an exciting new exhibition, Gutter Words, by artist Jo Hamill.

The walking tours, Introducing Joyce’s Dublin and Footsteops of Leopold Bloom, will not be effected by this closure and will proceed at the usual time.

More Than a Friend: LGBTIQA+ and Joyce

Tour

27 April 2024 at 2pm

‘Circe’ from Ulysses Murals (1996) by Paul Joyce

The James Joyce Centre was proud to offer an alternative exploration of his work via a tour of the museum on Saturday, 27 April 2024 at 2pm. In this one-hour tour, assistant Monica Gónzalez Galindo explored 35 North Great George’s Street as we read passages from Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses under LGBTIQA+ lenses.

James Joyce’s work is a product of an era where reflections about gender and sexuality started to reach the general population. Moreover, the fact that Joyce spent most of his life in continental Europe allowed him to live in places where those manifestations were more noticeable than in Ireland. The combination of these circumstances makes Joyce’s work sparkle with a few characters who can be considered part of the queer spectrum.

I Must Listen to the Birds

Reading

26 April 2024 at 6:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was delighted to host the award-winning Palestinian poet Marwan Makhoul on Friday, April 26th at 6.30pm. The reception was presented in association with Poetry Ireland and supported by Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann. The intimate evening with Makhoul and his translator Raphael Cohen featured poetry readings in both Arabic and Irish and performances of traditional Irish music by Mairead O’Donnell.

“I’m a voice that tells people about our identity, and how we have worked to preserve it as Palestinian, Arab, and in connection with our people,” says Makhoul of his work. Born to a Palestinian father and Lebanese mother, Makhoul grew up in Beqeia surrounded by a mountainous landscape that is omnipresent in his poetry. A Palestinian living within the state of Israel, his poetry deals with the marginalization of its Arab citizens, and with questions of personal and national identity.

He believes there are “no strict forms of prose and poetry anymore,” and his work draws on both esoteric forms and colloquial Arabic. His readings are dynamic and incantatory, and he often delivers his poems with accompaniment from singers and musicians. Makhoul’s poetry collections include Land of the Sad PassifloraWhere Is My Mom, and A Letter from the Last Man.

During the 2023 Gaza war, lines from one of his poems were adopted as a slogan by tens of millions of protestors and written on the walls of cities around the world: “in order for me to write poetry that isn’t / political, I must listen to the birds / and in order to hear the birds / the warplanes must be silent.”

Makhoul and his translator were hosted in Ireland by Donegal poet and editor Annemarie Ní Churreáin. Of the visit, Ni Churreáin says, “I’m delighted that Marwan Makhoul’s work is being translated into the Irish language for the first time. In addition to celebrating Marwan’s poetry, a key focus of this trip is the celebration of poetry across borders and cultures, and the act of bearing witness in poetry to social injustice. Tá mé fíorbhuíoch le gach duine atá páirteach sa chlár seo. Tá muid níos láidre le chéile!”

Street Poetry

Walking Tour

25 April 2024 at 1pm

The James Joyce Centre and Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann hosted a lunchtime ‘poetry promenade’ on Thursday, 25 April 2024 for Poetry Day Ireland 2024. We celebrate the extraordinary creativity of the poets who lived, worked and studied in the Georgian Streets of Dublin’s North Inner. Starting at the James Joyce Centre, our guide Darina Gallagher along with Sam Ford, Sinead Murphy, David Nash, and Enda Wyley performed a selection of poetry at different stops along the short route. We heard the poets of North Great George’s Street such as Samuel Ferguson, and Olivia Owenson, Belvedere College students such as James Joyce, Donagh McDonagh, and Austin Clarke, and the new poetry of contemporary poets at the Poetry Ireland House on Parnell Square.

Finnegans Wake, Ulster and Partition

Lecture

23 April 2024 at 6:30pm

‘Lambeg Drums and Pipes on the Way to the Field on the Glorious 12th of July, Ballymena 1910’ by Robert D. Beattie

The James Joyce Centre was delighted to host a presentation about James Joyce’s interrogation of Ulster and partition in Finnegans Wake by Dr. Donal Manning on Tuesday, 23 April 2024 at 6:30pm.

Although Joyce is mostly associated with Dublin, there is a wealth of references to Ulster in his work, particularly in Finnegans Wake: its topography, its myth and legend, and its history. Joyce’s portrayal of Ulster is a characteristically complex amalgam of difference and inclusion. Joyce began to write the Wake, provisionally called Work in Progress, in 1923 and he published the novel in 1939. He was, therefore, ideally placed to interrogate partition and the growing pains of the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. His portrait is tinged with disappointment and regret. A century after partition, and in the aftermath of Brexit, borders are again physical and symbolic markers of difference and exclusion. Joyce’s critique of intolerance and separatism is as pertinent today as when he embarked on Finnegans Wake a hundred years ago.

Dr. Donal Manning completed his PhD at Liverpool University. His thesis was on Ulster and unionism in Finnegans Wake. He has presented peer-reviewed papers on Finnegans Wake at conferences of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures at University of Cork (2018), University of Nijmegen, Netherlands (2018), and Trinity College Dublin (2019) and delivered three courses on Joyce’s fiction (two of which covered Finnegans Wake) at the Continuing Education Department, Liverpool University. His book Finnegans Wake, Ulster and Partition: The Sanguine Boundary Limit was published last year by Cork University Press. It can be purchased via this link: https://www.corkuniversitypress.com/9781782055877/finnegans-wake-ulster-and-partition/

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

When I Think About the Prankquean

Lecture

19 April 2024 at 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre hosted a special lecture and reading by famed Joycean Dr. James Keeley on Friday, 19 April 2024 at 7:30pm.

James presented his experiences of reading and studying Finnegans Wake over the years. In particular, he paid close attention to the enigmatic character of the “Prankquean.” He is a pioneer in reading the works of James Joyce on Skype and a long-standing contributor to the Sweny Pharmacy’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake Reading Groups. For five years, he was the moderator of the Transatlantic James Joyce Reading Group, including the Finnegans Wake Sunday School, involving readers from New York to Dublin. He is a co-founder of the Joyceborough Finnegans Wake Reading Group.

Jim was conferred with a PhD in English and Comparative Literature by Columbia University in 2002. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Madeira: The Secrets of Sisters

Reading

17 April 2024 at 1pm

The James Joyce Centre in association with the Five Lamps Arts Festival was proud to host a reading of Madeira: The Secrets of Sisters by Michael J. Harnett on Wednesday, 17 April 2024 at 1pm.

Two sets of sisters meet in a Dublin cafe for a casual chat. Suddenly, disturbing news emerged which shatters the atmosphere challenging their lives thereafter. By turns searing and sensitive the women at the heart of the drama display what it is to have courage and fortitude. Starring Geraldine Plunkett, Brenda Brooks and Deirdre Monaghan.

Over the past five years, Dublin Touring Theatre has written, produced and staged The Noble Call, The CloudSpotter and Bullied in local theatres (Sean O’Casey, Clasac, Viking, Bewleys Cafe Theatre), care homes, community centres, schools, and theatres abroad.

The reading was part of the Five Lamps Arts Festival. The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Cut & Paste: Remembering Arthur Griffith

Book Launch

28 March 2024 at 4pm

The James Joyce Centre was proud to host the launch of the 7th volume of Cut & Paste: Remembering Arthur Griffith with guest speaker Ronan McGreevy on Thursday, March 28th at 4pm.

Ronan McGreevy is a historian and journalist with The Irish Times. His most recent book was Great Hatred: The Assassination of Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson MP.

Published by Printwell Books, Cut & Paste is an annual publication that focuses on Arthur Griffith and his times. Edited by Cormac O’Hanrahan with Des Gunning (Joyceborough), this year’s edition includes articles by Colum Kenny, Felix M. Larkin, Brian Maye, Lisa O’Neill, and Alan Phelan.

Copies were available for purchase. You may also order online at printwellbooks.com.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Himself and Nora

Performance

21 & 22 March 2024 at 7:30pm

After the great success of Culture Night 2023, the James Joyce Centre was proud to host another performance of Jonathan Brielle’s acclaimed off-Broadway musical Himself and Nora on March 21st and 22nd at 7:30pm. The musical celebrates in song the love story of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle. Broadway writer and composer Jonathan Brielle performed numbers from the show in person and was accompanied by the Director of the James Joyce Centre, Darina Gallagher.

This bawdy, funny, uplifting, and melodic musical, sings the contemporary love story of James Joyce, the brilliant and hard-drinking Irish novelist, and Nora Barnacle, the woman who became his lover, partner, and muse for 37 years. Their love survived exile from Ireland, and the condemnation of the Catholic Church, and ultimately helped to create some of the greatest writing of the 20th century.

The performance coincided with Nora’s 140th birthday.

“A lively, sometimes lusty, spin through the love life, troubles and literary times of the great Irish writer…a robust romantic musical . . . The enjoyable score by Mr. Brielle, a veteran composer . . . meshes neatly with his libretto and embraces a rhythmic variety of ardent and melodic songs.” – The New York Times

Broadway composer and lyricist Jonathan Brielle has worked with many hit shows including Foxfire with Jessica Tandy and is the former National Projects Director of the Songwriters Guild of America. Jonathan is the Artistic Director and Founder of Vala, a new platform dedicated to launching new musicals.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Community in a World of Limited Good

Lecture

11 March 2024 at 7pm

Tá an áthas orainn cuireadh a thabhart duit chuig léacht leis tOllamh Ray Cashman, ar an Luan, 11 Márta, ag 7.00 PM, sa James Joyce Centre ar Sraid Sheoirse Thua.

An Cumann Le Béaloideas éireann/The Folklore of Ireland Society and the James Joyce Centre were delighted to host a presentation by the distinguished folklore scholar, Professor Ray Cashman (University of Indiana, Bloomington), at the James Joyce Centre on Monday, 11 March 2024 at 7pm. This was a rare opportunity to hear the internationally renowned folklore scholar give a presentation in Dublin about Irish folklore and an Gorta Mór.

“Luck’s Pennies, Butter Witches, and the Hungry Grass: Community in a World of Limited Good”

Many examples of Irish folklore reflect and instill enduring conceptions about the workings, vulnerability, and viability of community, a project in need of continual maintenance. Arguably, there has been no more devastating blow to the vernacular understanding of community than the mid-nineteenth-century Famine. If folklore provides models for contemplating and reproducing ideas about how community may be enacted, it also bears witness to the haunting consequences of abandoning this social contract for mutual support.

Professor Ray Cashman is director of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. He is currently Visiting Professor at NUI Galway.

Professor Cashman has carried out extensive folklore and ethnological research in Ireland. His books include Packy Jim: Folklore and Worldview on the Irish Border (2017) and Storytelling on the Northern Irish Border: Characters and Community (2011), and many articles. The numerous awards he has received for his work include the Michael J Durkan Prize for Books on Language and Culture and the Donald Murphy Award for Distinguished First Book, both of which were awarded by the American Association for Irish Studies, and the Chicago Folklore Prize. He is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Keys to Dreamland

Concert

9 March 2024 at 7:30pm

Internationally-renowned musical artist Lila Tirando a Violeta performced at her first concert in Ireland at the James Joyce Centre on March 9th at 7:30pm. She performed a live set that went from ambient to experimental dance music with synthesizers that were inspired by James Joyce’s iconic novel Finnegans Wake. Using intricate soundscapes and ethereal melodies, Lila transported the audience into the dreamlike world of Joyce’s masterpiece, where reality and fantasy intertwine in a mesmerizing blend of music and literature.

Lila Tirando a Violeta is a musical artist from Montevideo, Uruguay who is recognized for her experimental and versatile style. Her N.A.A.F.I. debut ‘Limerencia’ was highly praised in 2020, making several end-of-the-year lists. In 2022, she released ‘Desire Path,’ which was highlighted by Pitchfork, DJ MAG, Bandcamp, and The New York Times. Lila has performed live at renowned festivals such as Primavera Sound and Mutek ES in Spain. She recently signed with London’s notable label Hyperdub and has done custom mixes for KEXP & NTS radios as well as collaborating with artists such as Loraine James, Nick León, and Nicola Cruz.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Anna Livia Plurabelle

Reading

8 March 2024 at 11am

‘Anna Livia Plurabelle’ by Carol Wade (https://artofthewake.com/)

In honour of International Women’s Day, the James Joyce Centre hosted a public reading of the ‘Anna Livia Plurabelle’ chapter from Finnegans Wake in the Maginni Room. This extraordinary episode brings out all the wit and passion of one of the finest passages of feminine writing in modern literature.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Happy Birthday Mr. Joyce!

Birthday Celebrations

2-3 February 2023

Come celebrate James Joyce’s 142nd birthday by visiting the James Joyce Centre on Friday, February 2nd and Saturday the 3rd for free!

As a birthday gift, the James Joyce Centre will be open to the public free of charge on February 2nd and 3rd during our normal opening hours (10:30am to 4:30pm). See our exhibitions and installations and partake in several activities as we enjoy the man’s special day.

On Friday evening at 6:30pm, enjoy some wine, tea, and yes, a cake, as we raise a glass to Joyce and to those he brings together. As part of the evening, we will launch the Volta Exhibition: a film installation gathered from the best of the best Joycean films from the celebrated Bloomsday Film Festival. This will run permanently in the Volta Room for visitors to the Centre to view. Tickets are free but booking is essential. Spaces are limited so be sure to book soon.

For the Friday evening birthday party, click here for tickets.

We will also be running our popular walking tours for free. Explore the city that shaped Joyce’s life and would be immortalised in his work. We will be offering the Introducing Joyce’s Dublin tour on both days at 11am and the Footsteps of Leopold Bloom tour at 2pm. Tickets are free but booking is essential. Spaces are limited so be sure to book soon.

For the free walking tours, click here for tickets.

Celebrate with family, friends, and fellow travellers on this special weekend. We look forward to seeing you all!

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

For the Love of Brigid

Performance

1 February 2023 at 7:30pm

Join us at the James Joyce Centre for a delightful celebration of Saint Brigid’s Day. Immerse yourself in the rich Irish culture and traditions surrounding this beloved holiday dedicated to the patroness saint of Ireland.

Indulge in the captivating tales of Brigid of Kildare’s life and her significance in Irish folklore and Joyce’s work. Come (in Joyce’s words) “romp round brigidschool,” enjoy snacks and fine wine as we celebrate wise and wily women. The event will include stories, songs, music, and readings from Nicole Rourke, Dr. Caroline Elbay, Jess Traynor, and Darina Gallagher, among other amazing women. It will explore all the life-affirming elements of creativity that Brigid gives us: healing, nurturing, wisdom, mischief, and ritual.

The event starts at 7:30pm. The event is free but booking is essential.

Click here for tickets

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Eveline & Clay

Performance

11 January 2024 at 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was pleased to present a musical theatre performance based on two short stories from James Joyce’s Dubliners, Eveline & Clay, on Thursday, 11 January 2024 at 7:30pm. The performances showed how two women, leading restricted lives in a newly modern Dublin, make journeys towards an elusive freedom. First presented in 2009, the show is a revival of the collaboration between the accomplished composer, Michael Holohan, and the award-winning Joyce interpreter and actor, Paul O’Hanrahan.

Written by Joyce when he was a young man between the ages of 22 and 23, ‘Eveline’ and ‘Clay’ were both significant stepping stones in his development as a writer. ‘Eveline’ was initially published in the Irish Homestead in September 1904, not long before Joyce himself left Ireland with Nora Barnacle. ‘Clay’ was completed by December 1905 but it would not be until 1914 that both were published in the collection, Dubliners. The stories show a remarkable ability in a young writer to understand and represent how women’s lives were regulated and controlled by the patriarchal family, work, and religion.

Music in these stories is a form of memory and a means of socialisation; an intrinsic part of Dublin society at the time, it is already embedded in Joyce’s writing. Michael, who is from Drumcondra, has scored new piano music for these performances, drawing on an affinity with the setting of the stories on the city’s north side.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Paul O’Hanrahan, director of Balloonatics Theatre Company, is an actor and theatre director who specialises in re-enactments of the works of James Joyce. He has won Fringe First awards for theatrical adaptations of both Ulysses and Finnegans Wake at the Edinburgh Festival. He has produced, in Dublin, street and venue performances of Joyce’s Ulysses on Bloomsday, June 16th. He also regularly performs Telemachus at the Tower, his solo show based on the opening episode of Ulysses at the Joyce Tower in Sandycove, including seven performances in 2023.

Michael Holohan, an accomplished composer and pianist, has resided in Drogheda since 1983. He has won numerous prizes as well as Arts Council awards for attending master classes, in the 1980s, with Messiaen, Boulez, Xenakis, Berio, and Lachenmann in France. His compositions have been performed and broadcast both at home and internationally.

It’s a Sign! Zodiac Christmas Variety Show

Performance

17 December 2023 at 7pm and 8pm

The stars aligned on Sunday, December 17th at 7pm and 8pm for the premier of It’s a Sign!, Dublin’s first and only Zodiac Christmas Variety Show. It was a festive evening of music, astrological acts, and cosmic events. Each performer played their very own star sign, the roles they were born to play!

OUR FULL ZODIAC, ALL STAR CAST:

SAGITTARIUS- Lile Donohue

CAPRICORN- Méabh McKenna

AQARIUS- Isadora Epstein

PISCES- Cal Folger Day

ARIES- John Francis Flynn

TAURUS- Stephane  Béna Hanly 

GEMINI- Robbie Kitt

CANCER- Mary Keane

LEO- Ruan  Van Vliet

LIBRA- Aoibhinn O’Dea

VIRGO- Sinéad Onora Kennedy 

SCORPIO- Benjamin Stafford

Costumes by AMIE EGAN

Isadora Epstein writes and makes performances from her research of art history and mythology. Her work brings together a multidisciplinary ensemble of artists working in visual art, experimental music, and dance.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Profiles Issue 2 Launch

Journal Launch

16 December 2023 at 6:30pm

Profiles is an annual literary and vis-arts journal dedicated to portraiture in prose and visual art. The James Joyce Centre to celebrated Profiles‘ second issue on Saturday, 16 December 2023 at 6:30pm with readings from Claire Kieffer, Graham Donlon, John Moriarty, and Sofie de Smyter and presentations by exhibiting artists David Stephenson, Emily Mc Gardle, and Daniel Sexton. The launch will also include an exhibition featuring works by Erin de Burca, Suzanne Dolan, Nathan Lowry, Emily Mc Gardle, Duc Van Pham, Manon West, David Stephenson and Daniel Sexton.

This event was supported by Dublin City Council and Dublin: UNESCO City of Literature.

The issues can be purchased at the James Joyce Center. It can also be ordered here: https://profilesjournal.bigcartel.com/product/profiles-issue-2.

Sofie De Smyter is an English TA at KU Leuven (Belgium) and has stories in The Belfield Literary Review (edited by Paul Perry and Niamh Campell), Bright Flash Literary Review and Litro. She was shortlisted for the Scratch A4 competition.

Graham Donlon is a first-time short story writer who also works on screenplays and longer-form works. His short screenplay ‘Tether’ was a finalist in the 2022 Waterford International Film Festival and his micro-fiction ‘Piano Sings’ was a finalist in the 2022 Michael Mullen Charity Fund Competition. He comes from Dublin and lives in Co. Kildare. He is currently working on his first novel.

Claire-Lise Kieffer has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Galway. Her fiction has appeared in literary journals BansheeCrosswaysThe Honest UlstermanBending Genres, and more. She has received the 2022 Arts Council Agility Award to work on a collection of short stories. You can follow her on Twitter @clairelise_poet and on Instagram @clairelisekieffer.

John Moriarty is a Creative Writing student at Queen’s University Belfast. He has previously written fiction for BBC StorytellersThe Apiary, and Humour Me Magazine. He was born in Dublin and lives in Belfast with his wife, his daughter, and their cat.

Emily McGardle is a printmaker from Co. Monaghan. Her practice consists primarily of screenprinting and drawing. Using hand-drawn artwork, she creates multi-layer screenprints which combine humour, satire, and parody.

Daniel Sexton, hailing from Co. Limerick, qualified with a Masters in Art and Education from the Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork. His paintings are mainly figurative that questions the morals of people. His ongoing project ‘Nexus,’ currently showcased at Spike Island in Cork, serves as an exhibition embodying connections, collaborations, and partnerships cultivated by the Education Unit in Cork Prison (Cork ETB). His paintings are displayed in several galleries across Ireland, including the Mermaid Centre in Bray and the West End Gallery in Mallow, Co. Cork.

David Stephenson is a fine art photographer and filmmaker from Dublin. His work has been exhibited at The Hunt Museum, Limerick; RHA Gallery; Municipal Gallery, dlr Lexicon; National Portrait Gallery, London; a group exhibition of works from Local Authorities’ collections (30 Years, Artists, Places); and the solo show Slant at The Gallery of Photography Dublin. He has been shortlisted for this year’s Zurich Portrait Prize and selected for the Ballinglen Museum’s first biennial open exhibition as well as the Royal Ulster Academy open exhibition. Stephenson’s award-winning short film ‘Raymond’ is an elegiac portrait of an elderly man’s recollections of life on the Irish border. His current work-in-progress, Main Street Bray, is a film/photographic project.

Picture credit: ‘/after’, coloured pencil, pencil, and pen on paper, by Emily McGardle.

Dear, Dirty Dubliners

Course

8 November – 13 December 2023

Dubliners, James Joyce’s debut collection of short stories, is considered one of the finest short story collections ever written, laying bare the intrigues, dirtiness, and indignities of life in Dublin at the turn of the 20th century. Joyce got at the “heart” of Dublin with penetrating insights into its denizens, using innovative styles and techniques that would come to define the Modernist movement and beyond.

Dear, Dirty Dubliners is a unique, six-week course that will guide you through the stories in great detail. The course will be held both in the James Joyce Centre and on Zoom. Particular focus will be paid to issues of gender, poverty, colonialism, nationalism, globalization, the Catholic Church, and sexuality, just to name a few. The course will also go over its troubled publication history as well as its enduring legacy and adaptations, such as John Huston’s 1987 film The Dead

The characters in the 15 stories vary in many ways but one quality they all have in common is paralysis: not physical paralysis per se, but rather emotional, financial, familial, and spiritual. His struggle to get the book published (it took more than seven years) would shape Joyce as a young artist: a man who challenged the literary and cultural establishments both in and outside of Ireland.

The course will be led by Dr. Josh Q. Newman, an academic and assistant at the Centre. The course will consist of readings, group discussions, presentations, and guest lectures. Students will be provided with contextual and scholarly materials via Moodle. You do not have to be an academic or so familiar with Joyce’s work to enjoy the class!

Course Details:
-Location: Zoom & The James Joyce Centre (35 Great George’s St. N.)
-Start Date: 8 November 2023
-End Date: 13 December 2023
-Time: Every Wednesday, 6-8pm GMT
-Registration: €80

We look forward to welcoming you to Dear, Dirty Dubliners!

Artwork: “Clay” by Frank Kiely.

A Christmas Carol

Performance

12 December 2023 at 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was delighted to host A Christmas Carol on Tuesday, 12 December 2023 at 7:30pm. This in-person event transported you back to Victorian London as you follow the heartwarming journey of Ebenezer Scrooge.

We witnessed Scrooge’s transformation from a cold-hearted miser to a man filled with compassion and love. The haunting music and captivating performances filled our hearts with joy and reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Performed by Michael James Ford, Sinead Murphy, and Sam Ford, the performance took us on Scrooge’s ghostly journey to redemption, accompanied by a richly atmospheric live musical score. A sell-out hit at the Viking Theatre for the past seven years, it is the perfect way to experience Dickens’ masterpiece and share his world of phantoms, darkness, merriment, and everlasting goodwill.

“Don’t miss this delightful version of the classic.” Sunday Independent

“…fine dramatic storytelling…perfect for the season.” Red Curtain Review

“It lingers in the mind…it really is superb.” Donnchadh O’Laoire

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Counterparts & A Little Cloud

Performance

27, 29-30 November 2023, 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was proud to host the Volta Theatre Company’s production of two short stories from Joyce’s debut work Dubliners on Monday the 27th, Wednesday the 29th, and Thursday the 30th November 2023 at 7:30pm.

Joyce’s collection of short stories provides vivid ‘slices of life’ of early 20th century Dublin. Against the backdrop of a society in paralysis, a pair of Dublin lives are revealed in stark, sometimes brutal, scenes. In Counterparts, an ungainly, bad-tempered law clerk is determined to have a heavy night’s drinking, while in A Little Cloud, a sensitive soul is embittered by a meeting with an old university friend back from London. At once funny and tragic, relatable and disturbing, the stories are populated with an array of colourful characters who remain entirely contemporary, despite the bowler hats and Edwardian collars.

Performed by two actors in the iconic setting of the Joyce Centre’s Georgian drawing room, and featuring period music, this was an exquisite, intimate study of Joyce’s Dublin and its lives of quiet desperation.

Volta is a collaboration between classically-trained actors and musicians, combining theatre with cabaret, jazz and sketch comedy. Its remit is to bring classical theatre to a wide audience. Liam Hourican has worked with Shakespeare’s Globe, the Old Vic, and Second Age Theatre company and has written and performed sketch shows and comedy drama for Channel 4, RTE and the BBC. Jim Roche has starred in Normal PeopleHarry WildBlood 2VikingsDamo and IvorKillinaskullyThe Mario Rosenstock ShowThe Tudors, and iCandy. Musicians Feilimidh Nunan and Conor Sheil work with all the principal orchestras in Ireland and have collaborated in a wide variety of musical genres ranging from jazz to traditional music.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The Last Dance of Lizzie Moore

Reading

21 November 2023 at 7pm

The James Joyce Centre was delighted to host a rehearsed reading and post-performance discussion of The Last Dance of Lizzie Moore, a new play by Daniel Seery, performed by Hidden Skirts Theatre Company on Tuesday, November 21st at 7pm.

A traffic accident on Fleet Street leaves two colleagues who have differing accounts of their time with the victim — and the secrets kept in the battered case she won’t let out of her sight.

The reading was 45 minutes long followed by a Q&A.

Hidden Skirts are a Dublin-based theatre company, that makes theatre inspired by the city and its people. Ciara and Anto have worked together since 2020 when they met on the documentary O’Casey in the Estate. Since then they have been writing and performing original pieces of work including their new play The Last Dance of Lizzie Moore by Daniel Seery. 

Daniel Seery’s short stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies and he was a winner in the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair Competition. He lives in Dublin with his wife and two daughters. His first book was called A Model Partner

The James Joyce Centre is delighted to support new Irish writers, playwrights, and artists. The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Dubylon: A Tower of Verse

Book Launch

20 November 2023 at 7pm

The James Joyce Centre was proud to host the launch of Dubylon: A Tower of Verse on Monday, November 20th 2023 at 7pm.

Dubylon is part of an ongoing intercultural writing programme that seeks to give voices to the many tongues and traditions that are part of Dublin’s conversations in the 21st century. A part of the Intercultural Language Service’s storytelling project which began in 2017, the book provides a space for diverse people to share how they see, feel, and live in the city which is their home. In the words of Dubylon facilitator, poet Fiona Bolger, it is a “translational/national, lingual project where we will be rooting ourselves in the language and poetry of Dublin while reaching across the waters and world to bring fresh phrases to the project.”

Dubylon is a collection of poems written by Dubliners from all over the world: Syria, Palestine, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Malawi, and Brazil, among other countries. The event was brought to life with multilingual readings from the poets and musical interludes.

More information about the Intercultural Language Service can be found on its website at https://www.ilsschool.org/dubylon.html.

Dubliners by Hibsen

Concert

24-27 October 2023, 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was delighted to host a unique musical interpretation of James Joyce’s Dubliners. Irish folk ensemble Hibsen paid homage to Joyce with performances of their critically acclaimed album “The Stern Task of Living” over four nights from 24 to 27 October at 7:30pm. The album is a collection of 15 songs, one for each short story in Dubliners. Through their original music and lyrics, Hibsen brings the stories to life. In addition to a musical performance of the full album, Frank McNally of The Irish Times provided insights into and selected readings from Dubliners.

For lovers of Joyce, these concerts provided a unique perspective on Dubliners, combining songs and literary expositions. For those not familiar with the stories, the performances provided an ideal opportunity to get to know them in an intimate surrounding.

Tickets are free but booking is essential. https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/james-joyces-dubliners-interpreted-in-song-by-hibsen-tickets-721967944557

These performances were supported by the After Hours at the Museum Grant Scheme from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

“The arrangements . . . and lyrics come from the pen of people who have spent a lot of time in Joyce’s world.” John Meagher, Irish Independent

“One might almost sense the spirit of Joyce himself strolling through these tracks. Better still, you don’t have to know the stories to savour this as a musical experience in its own right.” Jackie Hayden, Hot Press Magazine

Hibsen are a contemporary folk music ensemble formed by Irish artists Jim Murphy and Gráinne Hunt. They released their debut album “The Stern Task of Living” on 26 May 2023. The album was inspired by the book of short stories Dubliners by James Joyce and it comprises 15 songs, one for each short story. It was launched at Bloomsday Festival 2023 and it has received critical acclaim. Some of the songs from the album received extensive national and regional radio play with one of the songs (Eveline) reaching number 2 on the RTE Radio 1 Airplay Chart. The Stern Task of Living was also selected as a featured album on RTE Lyric FM and on BBC Radio Ulster.

The Poetry Business

Course

21 October 2023, 10:30am to 1:30pm

On Saturday, 21 October from 10:30am to 1:30pm, the Poetry Business in association with the James Joyce Centre presented Writing Morning with Ann and Peter Sansom, a rare chance to work with, as described by The Guardian, ‘the best writing teachers in the world.’

This demanding but hugely enjoyable morning drew on classic and contemporary poems to create new poems. In between there was a little discussion about the practice of writing and publication.

Ann and Peter are Co-Directors of The Poetry Business and editors of The North magazine and Smith|Doorstop Books. They have taught poetry at all levels including at Sheffield and Leeds Universities, and have tutored every year for The Arvon Foundation for over thirty years. Ann’s books include Romance and In Praise of Men & Other People (Bloodaxe) and Peter’s include Writing Poems (Bloodaxe), Careful What You Wish For, and Lanyard (Carcanet).

Tickets are €25 general, €20 unwaged.

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-poetry-business-writing-morning-with-ann-and-peter-sansom-tickets-721952026947