Food is life. The madeleine memories it brings are involuntary, deep in your bones. Illustration: Irish Times Premedia

“When all the others were away at Mass I was all hers as we peeled potatoes . . . ” You insist that they read this Seamus Heaney poem at your m(...)

A few weeks back I wrote about Alfred Henry Hunter, the reputed real-life original of Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, to demonstrate just how much information (...)

Joyceans in full bloom at Glasnevin Cemetery. Pictured were actors: Louis O’Byrne who plays Martin Cunningham, Jim O’ Keeffe, who plays Jack Power, Blaise Reid who plays Narrator/ Cab Driver, Val O’ Donnell character of Simon Dedalus, Michael Carolan, Bloom’s Narrator, Ian Blackmore who plays Leopold Bloom. Photograph: Colm Mahady / Fennells

You couldn’t move in Glasnevin cemetery’s cafe without coming eye to eye with a plate of liver or a Gorgonzola sandwich. Yes, Bloomsday was in full sw(...)

James Joyce: time to yet again celebrate Joyce’s transfiguration of the commonplace into art. Photograph: Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty Images

Ulysses, written by James Joyce – one of Ireland’s most cantankerous exiles – is very funny, organic, lively and grows on rereading. The more snobbis(...)

John Shevlin dressed as James Joyce at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, in 2012. Photograph:   Bryan O’Brien

Leopold Bloom – possibly one of the most endearing and likeable Everyman figures in literature “A very embarrassing book. No one likes his priv(...)

Alfred Henry Hunter is the Dubliner long known to be the model for the hero of Joyce’s Ulysses, Leopold Bloom. In 1904, after rescuing Joyce from a dr(...)

 Ireland’s Niall O’Brien, in the team that beat the West Indies.   Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

There’s a theory, or at least there used to be, to explain why certain former British colonies, specifically India and Pakistan, chose cricket as thei(...)

Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co Laois, which takes place in early September. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

JANUARY Yeats 2015 All year A national celebration of the life and work of the Nobel prize-winning poet, with an extensive programm(...)

Literary society: James Joyce with Sylvia Beach of Shakespeare & Co, who first published Ulysses (far right), and her fellow publisher and writer Adrienne Monnier. Photograph: Gisele Freund/Time & Life pictures/Getty Images

In December 1922 Dublin formally became the capital of the new Irish Free State. Ten months earlier, when James Joyce’s Ulysses was published in Paris(...)

“One of the most tiresome duties was the six-hour night watch in the radio room. Little happened. Rarely was a telegram sent or received.  So, sitting there in my shorts, as the ship ploughed steadily through the blackness of the tropic night, I started to read Ulysses.”

One hot afternoon in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, I sought refuge from the boiling tropical sun in a shaded bookshop. There, in one of the long (...)