Mid-June is a great time of year for Irish literary anniversaries. Bloomsday (16th of June), when enthusiasts the world over come together to celebrate James Joyce's Ulysses, has been with us since the 1950s when the novelist's admirers began gathering at the Martello Tower in Sandycove on the shores of Dublin Bay, which is the setting for the opening episode of that great modern novel. The events depicted in Ulysses all take place over a single day in Dublin, 16 June 1904.
Yeats Day (12th of June) is a more recent initiative. It marks the anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Prize winning poet and dramatist, William Butler (W.B.) Yeats (1865-1939). Yeats Day is marked with special enthusiasm in County Sligo, where Yeats spent much of his childhood and which he considered a kind of spiritual home. 2015 will be a special year for Yeats enthusiasts, with events marking the 150th anniversary of the poet's birth.