Monday, 16 June 2014


Happy Bloomsday, everyone!!
Woman at window, Sant' Agata dei Goti, Italy
I am back at my Ballinasloe desk after a spell in Italy (see the Italo-Irish Literature Exchange blog for reports and photos on that, from me and my companions).

One of Robert Berry's Joyce illustrations
And, latterly, I was at the ACIS conference in UCD, catching up with American friends and listening to papers on topics as diverse as Twitter poetry, and the ways in which museums present social histories. I also caught a Paula Meehan reading and a book launch. All pretty wonderful. I have been attending a lot of Irish Studies Conferences here and abroad in the past few years, without even realising it; I always learn things at them and the people I meet are invariably brilliant and friendly.

Scale model of Wanderly Wagon at the Little Museum of Dublin
It was great to be in my hometown for a few days without the usual obligations; I ate out a lot and went to pubs and even managed some Joyce-related outings: a visit to Sweny's; a leisurely seaside wander in Dalkey (in still, heavy summer air - I am loving this heatwave!), and an exhibition of Robert Berry’s hand drawn ink illustrations of ‘The Dead’ in the extraordinary Little Museum of Dublin. If you haven't yet visited that museum, I urge you to go: it's the right side of eccentric and also totally absorbing.

I met this little one in Italy, in Sant' Agata dei Goti. Ladybirds are my favourite creatures and she just flew in and landed on my hand. I took her as a good omen for my Emily Dickinson book which went into production in the States while I was in Italy. Nervous excitement!!

If you fancy a bit of Joyce today, you can buy Ulysses digitally for tuppence-hapenny (36p in 'new' money). Or you could plump for the rewritten version A Telmetale Bloomnibus for the rather more steep in comparison, but still bargainous, Stg £1.99.

Or you could try Dubliners 100, just out from Tramp Press, which I bought in UCD. I have only read Thomas Morris's introduction but so far, so good. 

Whatever your Bloomsday brings, if you can't be in Dublin, think of strolling its streets in the beautiful June heat - in good company - and all will be well :)


Rachel Fenton said...

Lovely little ladybeetle!
Thanks for the pics and the up-date - you do busy so blooming well.

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Dubliners 100 - such a great cast of writers to gorge on - and I just finished your novel - you made me cry in the best way - and have started on Colin Barrett's Young Skins. There's a theme emerging!

Nuala Ní Chonchúir said...

So glad I made you cry, Rae - it warms the cockles of my writer's heart.
You know, I love being busy. Must have something to do with my short attention span. Or passion for life. Or something anyway. N x x