The 2021 Bloomsday Festival

The Virtual Premiere of I Said Yes: A Celebration of Bloomsday at The Rosenbach

Wednesday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m.

Every year, the world celebrates Bloomsday on June 16, the day that James Joyce’s epic Ulysses is set in 1904. This season, in place of our annual festival on Delancey Place, we’re commemorating the date with the premiere of I Said Yes: A Celebration of Bloomsday at The Rosenbach, a new film production. The film captures the celebration of Bloomsday and the significance of Joyce’s groundbreaking work. Through interviews, commentary, music, readings, and much more, I Said Yes: A Celebration of Bloomsday at The Rosenbach reflects on the literary legacy of Ulysses and The Rosenbach’s place in its history.

I Said Yes: A Celebration of Bloomsday at The Rosenbach premieres on Wednesday, June 16, 7:00 p.m. EST (90 minutes).
Watch on this page or Watch the trailer here.


Paul Saint-Amour, Robert Berry, Vicki Mahaffey, Darina Gallagher, and Drucie McDaniel

Readers courtesy of the Lantern Theater and Philadelphia Artists’ Collective
Charles McMahon (Telemachus), Michael Toner (Nestor), Benjamin Brown (Calypso), Damon Bonetti (Lestrygonians), Anthony Lawton (Scylla and Charybdis), Jenna Kuerzi (Sirens), Ezra Ali-Dow (Cyclops), Kimie Muroya (Nausicaa), McKenna Kerrigan (Circe), and J Hernandez (Ithaca)

Darina Gallagher and Sinead Murphy

Support The Rosenbach

Our annual Bloomsday celebrations are made possible from the generosity of our community. There are lots of ways to support The Rosenbach to ensure that we can continue to bring Joyce’s work to life for many more years to come.

James Joyce’s manuscript of Ulysses in The Rosenbach’s collection

Make a gift today

Support from friends like you allows The Rosenbach to hold free virtual programming and the premiere of the new film at no charge. Make a donation.

Original watercolor by Robert Berry

Bid in the Rosenbacchanal silent auction

There’s something for every literature lover – including a coveted reader spot in the 2022 Bloomsday celebration! Bid now

Purchase Bloomsday merchandise

Find new products with the 2021 Bloomsday artwork by Robert Berry, books, posters, magnets, pint glasses, and much more. Rosenbach Members get 20% off their order! Start shopping.

ReJoyce! There are more ways to celebrate Ulysses at The Rosenbach

Love’s Old Sweet Song: The Music of James Joyce | Virtual Behind the Bookcase Tour
Thursday, June 24 from 6:00–7:00 p.m. FREE virtual program.

Readers of Ulysses know that music plays an important role in the novel’s narratives. This special virtual tour will pair Celtic harp performances broadcasted live from The Rosenbach’s historic parlor along with a showcase and discussion of iconic artifacts from our collection. Register.

In-Person Course | Reading Ulysses at The Rosenbach led by Vicki Mahaffey
9 Thursday sessions at 6:30 p.m. beginning on October 7

Reading Ulysses is sometimes regarded as the Mt. Everest of literary achievement, its difficulty rewarded by exaltation for those who complete the journey. Yet the book is also a great comic novel, which seems like a contradiction. In this course we’ll discover that the challenge and joy of Ulysses are one in the same, to see the strengths and limitations of how we perceive and understand something new and unexpected. This course will be held in-person – The Rosenbach’s first since March 2020! Register.

Virtual Course | Learning Ulysses Online led by Robert Berry
9 Wednesday sessions at 6:30 p.m. beginning on October 20

This year, as James Joyce’s Ulysses becomes 100 years old, rediscover just how much fun it can be to read it. Students in this class will work together to gain a deeper understanding of the life and central literary achievements of James Joyce focusing on his best known work Ulysses (pub. 1922). Secondary readings and class discussions may occasionally dip into Joyce’s earlier or later works, but the main goal will be to read this novel together and unravel some (though certainly not all) of its mysteries. Register.

The Global Other: Race and Empire in James Joyce’s Ulysses
A new installation on view at The Rosenbach through September 5

James Joyce’s novel Ulysses is considered a classic of British literature, and an iconic Irish story. Yet Joyce wrote the book outside the boundaries of British imperial rule, far away from Ireland. His writings advocated for the equality of Irish people, and against unjust imperialism and ethnic nationalism. Learn more.

Past Bloomsday Events and Programs

In addition to the premiere of the new film, The Rosenbach is held a series of free virtual programs and exclusive in-person events throughout the month of June.

SOLD OUT! Rosenbacchanal 2021: Siren’s Garden Party
Tuesday, June 1 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. In-person event.

Guests are invited to spend an evening in The Rosenbach’s Garden for specialty cocktails and tasty hors d’oeuvres while enjoying a performance from Xavier Foley, a critically-acclaimed double bassist and a Laureate of Astral Artists. Tickets are included with all Rosenbacchanal sponsorship levels or may be purchased separately. Availability is limited to maintain safe capacity. Learn more.

Written In My Heart: James Joyce & Irish Authors | Virtual Behind the Bookcase Tour
Thursday, June 3 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. FREE virtual program.

The spirit of Ireland has inspired storytellers like James Joyce, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, and many others for centuries. The influence of these authors continues to be felt far beyond Ireland’s rugged shores and The Rosenbach is home to a vast collection of their works. Learn more.

Rosenbacchanal 2021: Young Friends Party
Tuesday, June 8 from 6:00–8:00 p.m. In-person event.

Calling all young bibliophiles! Literary enthusiasts under 40 are invited to a special event in the garden. The Young Friends of The Rosenbach, a new committee, will make their debut at this cocktail party with a special up-close viewing of the Ulysses manuscript from our collection. Learn moreInterested in joining the Young Friends of The Rosenbach to develop future events like this one? Contact Bethany Chisholm at [email protected]

The Will to Forget: Memory, the Nation, and Ulysses | In Conversation with Vincent Cheng
Wednesday, June 9 from 7:00–8:00 p.m. FREE virtual program.

The subject of memory is notable in contemporary studies of culture but the desirability or usefulness of forgetting is often overlooked. Vincent Cheng, author of Amnesia and the Nation: History, Forgetting, and James Joyce, considers the subject in terms of a nation’s collective memory and Joyce’s treatment of these issues in UlyssesLearn more.

SOLD OUT! The Spirit of Bloom Cocktail Mixing Workshop with Art in the Age
Saturday, June 12 in three sessions at 4:00, 5:30, and 7:00 p.m. In-person event.

Join us in The Rosenbach’s Garden to mix your own cocktail inspired by James Joyce’s Ulysses. A mixologist from Art in the Age will walk us through the fundamentals of creating a special Bloomsday cocktail using a bottle of Tamworth Garden Gin that you’ll take home with you. Registration includes access to view Joyce’s manuscript of Ulysses in The Rosenbach’s collection. To maintain safe social distancing, space is limited in each one-hour workshop time slot. Register.


I Said Yes: A Celebration of Bloomsday at The Rosenbach, all free Bloomsday events, and our Bloomsday cocktail workshop are made possible through a generous grant from The Consulate General of Ireland’s Emigrant Support Programme. Special thanks to Lenore H. Steiner and Perry A. Lerner.