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Global Bloomsday Giveaway

Illustration of a pile of books featuring Ulysses

This year, as an additional initiative to reach new global audiences as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs Bloomsday campaign, Irish Embassies and Consulates have organised a Global Joycean Book Giveaway. Over the Bloomsday period, more than 5,000 copies of Ulysses, Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man are being distributed in 100+ cities on six continents, in 18 languages ranging from Chinese, Japanese and Finnish to Hebrew, Greek and Bahasa.  To deliver this, our diplomatic network has partnered with hundreds of local organisations including national and public libraries, secondary schools, universities, development NGOs, bookshops, literary cafés, cultural centres, broadcast media and transport hubs.

Examples of these dynamic collaborations include:

  • In South Africa our Embassy is partnering with non-profit organisations including Africa Book Trust and Hear My Voice to enhance access to literature for young people in inner-city Johannesburg and to support spoken-word artists.
  • In Jakarta, Joyce’s works will be donated to a street library.
  • In San Francisco, the Consulate General has partnered with a local bookshop to give away free copies of Ulysses with the purchase of books by other Irish writers.
  • In Stockholm and Seoul, copies of Ulysses and Dubliners will be distributed to students studying English in second and third-level education.
  • In Belgium, the Irish Embassy is gifting books to public libraries in the towns visited by the Joyce family during a holiday there in 1926.
  • In Israel, books will be donated to libraries and universities across the country.
  • In Scotland, our Consulate in Edinburgh is teaming up with BBC Radio Scotland to give away copies of Ulysses, and will also contribute to Orkney Library and Edinburgh City of Literature group.
  • In India, the Embassy in New Delhi will distribute books to 50 schools across the country.

Catch some highlights below from our Global Book Giveaway, and check out #BloomsdayGiveaway on Twitter to see this initiative in action across the world.

To celebrate Bloomsday 2021, the Irish Ambassador to Lithuania, Peter McIvor, presented a number of books by James Joyce to the owner of Mint the Vinetu café and bookstore.

To celebrate Bloomsday 2021, the Irish Ambassador to Lithuania, Peter McIvor, presented a number of books by James Joyce to the owner of Mint the Vinetu café and bookstore.

Presentation of Joyce’s masterpieces, including in Korean translation, at Goyang Global High School, Korea

Presentation of Joyce’s masterpieces, including in Korean translation, at Goyang Global High School, Korea

Ambassador Eamon Hickey busy organising the Joycean Book Giveaway In Switzerland

Ambassador Eamon Hickey busy organising the Joycean Book Giveaway In Switzerland.

ue to total lockdown in Santiago de Chile, we carried out a virtual giveaway of James Joyce's books for Bloomsday to the Network of Public Libraries in the community of Maipú. They were handed over by the Deputy Head of Mission, Aislinn McCauley and received by the Director, Nadia Miranda Sepulveda.

Due to total lockdown in Santiago de Chile, the Embassy of Ireland, Chile carried out a virtual giveaway of James Joyce's books for Bloomsday to the Network of Public Libraries in the community of Maipú. They were handed over by the Deputy Head of Mission, Aislinn McCauley and received by the Director, Nadia Miranda Sepulveda. This community has a special link with Ireland, in the context of the Chilean War of Independence under the command of the Irish descendant: General Bernardo O'Higgins.

CG Ciaràn Madden gives a copy to Melanie McNair, Director of Public Programmes at Center For Fiction

Consul General of Ireland to New York, Ciaràn Madden, gives a copy of Ulysses to Melanie McNair, Director of Public Programmes at Center For Fiction.

Bloomsday Book Giveaway in Nigeria

Embassy Abuja partnered with the Abuja Literary Society (ALS) to give away copies of Ulysses and Dubliners. Pictured here are some of the talented participants who took part in the ALS Open Mic Night on 11 June 2021.

Embassy Tokyo donated a set of Joyce novels to Shinjuku Central library in Tokyo on Bloomsday 2021. ‌Embassy Tokyo donated a set of Joyce works to Shinjuku Central library in Tokyo on Bloomsday 2021. This is one of series of book giveaways to public libraries in Japan  connected to the Embassy in Tokyo.

Ambassador Gargan donating the books to Ms Anna Maria Pap, Director of the National Library of Foreign Literature

Ambassador Gargan donating the books to Ms Anna Maria Pap, Director of the National Library of Foreign Literature, in Hungary.

Presentation by Ambassador Duffy to Ms Cheryl Falzon, National Librarian of Malta & Malta Libraries CEO.‌Presentation by Ambassador of Ireland to Malta, Patrick Duffy to Ms Cheryl Falzon, National Librarian of Malta & Malta Libraries CEO.

Presentation by Ambassador Duffy to Mr David Muscat, CEO of the National Literacy Agency of Malta and Professor Charles Mifsud, Chairperson of the National Literacy Agency of Malta.Presentation by Ambassador of Ireland to Malta, Patrick Duffy to Mr David Muscat, CEO of the National Literacy Agency of Malta and Professor Charles Mifsud, Chairperson of the National Literacy Agency of Malta.

New Yorkers queue outside Brooklyn’s Center For Fiction for Ulysses book giveaway New Yorkers queue outside Brooklyn’s Center For Fiction for Ulysses book giveaway.

Ambassador Hilary Reilly gifted a copy of Dubliners by James Joyce to English literature departments at universities across the country

Ambassador of Ireland to Malaysia, Hilary Reilly, gifted a copy of Dubliners by James Joyce to English literature departments at universities across the country.

Embassy Prague distributed books all across the Czech Republic, including Prague City Library, Václav Havel Library, Charles University and Dox Centre (pictured).Embassy Prague distributed books all across the Czech Republic, including Prague City Library, Václav Havel Library, Charles University and Dox Centre (pictured).