Abai Celebrations/James Joyce Virtual Bloomsday Celebrations – Poetry News Roundup June 3rd

Today on My Poetic Side we look at the preparations for the 175th Anniversary celebrations for Abai and the Virtual Bloomsday celebrations for the author James Joyce.

Preparations Underway for Abai’s 175th Anniversary Celebrations

In East Kazakhstan, they are getting ready to celebrate Abai Kunanbaiuly’s 175th birth anniversary. Several significant projects have begun in the place where the great poet was born on the order of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of Kazakhstan. The country wants to ensure that they celebrate such an important occasion properly.

The first place that visitors to the area will stop at is Syrt Kaskabulak village. This was the poet’s birthplace and a monument has been erected in his honour. Alongside the monument, a number of stones have also been put in place – on these have been engraved parts of the 45 parables contained in the poets “Words of Edification”.

A museum has also been built and is named for the poet’s father. This project is set to cost around US$733,000 and will be paid for from the state budget. The name of Abai’s father was not really spoken for many years but he is currently the subject of much study. Kunanbai Oskenbaiuly was an authoritative sultan and a public figure and his legacy is considered to be a very important one.

As a part of the celebrations that will be taking place for the anniversary, the region of East Kazakhstan is planning to undertake 19 projects of significance. They have estimated that the projects will cost them around US$12.2 million. Such is the popularity of the poet that two years ago, a fund was set up in order to help improve facilities in the Abai district, and people have been making financial contributions to the fund ever since.

One other project of note that is also going on as part of the anniversary celebrations is the construction of a mosque in Karauyl village.

Virtual Bloomsday Celebration to be Shared with Fans of James Joyce

The University of Buffalo is planning to hold a virtual Bloomsday Celebration with a whole evening dedicated to Ulysses, the landmark book by James Joyce.

The event is scheduled to take place on 16th June, the day that the novel takes place on. An annual celebration that takes place all over the world, Bloomsday is a day dedicated to Leopold Bloom the protagonist in Ulysses. The book was written in 1922, nearly 100 years ago, but still captures the imaginations and hearts of its readers.

Over the years, Bloomsday has been celebrated in a number of different ways, including with walking tours around Dublin looking at the places Bloom went in the book, pub crawls in period costume, and performances in the theatre. Due to the social distancing measures currently in place, it has been decided that this year the event should take place virtually.

The University of Buffalo (UB)is home to the most comprehensive and largest collection of material linked to Joyce. The UB will be hosting its own special event with reading from authors, Ambassadors and a number of other guests of note.

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