The Literacy Project to honor James Joyce at 9th annual Bloomsday event

  • James Joyce Contributed photo—

Published: 6/4/2018 5:28:04 PM

GREENFIELD — To draw attention to its nonprofit organization and mission, The Literacy Project is hosting its ninth annual Bloomsday event, pub-style, on June 16, along with many other James Joyce fans organizations around the globe. There will be lively music by Irish harpist Rosie Caine and The Wilde Irish Women and readings from Joyce’s “Dubliners.” Sample a desert and cheese bar. There will be songs, stories and Irish pints.

Bloomsday is a celebration of the Irish novelists and refers to Leopold Bloom, the chief character in Joyce’s classic, “Ulysses.”

Locally, Bloomsday is celebrated at The Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center from 7 to 9 p.m.

Unlike other Bloomsdays, The Literacy Project’s underlying motivation for bringing Bloomsday to Western Massachusetts for its ninth year is to make revelers and others aware of The Literacy Project’s organization and mission, which is to provide free adult learning services — basic reading skills, high school equivalency exam prep and college and work readiness — to residents of Franklin and Hampshire counties.

Why James Joyce and why now? According to the Project, “Like many nonprofits and educational programs that work to support low-income members of our community, The Literacy Project is facing looming cuts in the federal budget.”

Executive Director Judith Roberts said, “Bloomsday has turned into an annual event because it makes sense that a nonprofit whose mission is to ensure that all our citizens are readers should want to celebrate all things literary. And who better to help with our plea for support than a public who deeply appreciates the joys of reading and literature?”

Roberts said, “At The Literacy Project, we believe in the power of words and books to transform lives. We believe that everyone should have access to the joy of reading. As The Literacy Project students embrace the power of reading and writing their own words, they go on a journey where they find out more about themselves and the world, as does every reader. Most of our students do already know how to read; they just can’t read well enough to fill out a job application, write an essay or enjoy a novel. Whatever their skill level, we work with them until they’ve mastered the basics and are ready to move forward to make a better life for themselves and their families.

“Our students are moving from literacy to literature, and we are celebrating Bloomsday and the connection of all readers to the wonder and insights of literature.”


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