For many, June 16th has come to be known as “Bloomsday.” Derived from the name of Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of James Joyce‘s modernist novel Ulysses, Bloomsday celebrates the life of the iconoclastic writer, and fans around the world also enact and discuss the events of his complex narrative.

public domain image

Revolutionary Joyce Better Contrast / Joyce in Zurich c. 1918 – Public Domain Image (WikiMedia Commons) – CLICK TO ENLARGE

Set on that one day in June in 1904 in the city of Dublin, Ireland, the sprawling tale of Ulysses (which stirred significant controversy upon its serialised release between 1918-1922) depicts the peripatetic and psychological wanderings of advertising representative Leopold Bloom, his fiery and talented wife, Molly Bloom, and aspiring writer Stephen Dedalus (protagonist of Joyce’s semi-autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which was released in 1916). Referencing Homer’s epic poetic adventure The Odyssey throughout, Ulysses by contrast ruminates on the heroic and tragic details of ordinary human existence.

Bloomsday also marks the beginning of the real-life romance of Joyce and his spouse Nora Barnacle, who inspired the character of Molly Bloom.

This Monday, June 16th, “The Freak Power Ticket” will present a Bloomsday radio special, featuring:

  • audio samples of Joyce’s words and poetry;
  • original period music associated with Joyce;
  • adapted songs and dramatic excerpts;
  • contemporary music and other creative works that also pay tribute to Joyce and Ulysses;
  • running commentary by producer/host Ted Coe;
  • and a playlist of other songs selected to honor the spirit of this literary masterpiece.

“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays in the Spring from 11am-12noon PDT.