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Jessica Traynor & Andrew O’Hagan

Virtual Crossways


Jessica Traynor moves seamlessly through a series of poems registering both the local and global: Dublin rivers, histories of the Irish State, and family life; ecological calamity and the migrant crisis; national nostalgia and corrupt privilege; the demands of feminism and the experience of new motherhood.

In a dramatic reading full of Glaswegian humour, Andrew O’Hagan reads a passage from his latest novel, Mayflies, about an Eighties schoolboy striking out from a council estate and dysfunctional family for the hopeful promise of higher education; an extract from a short-story about a son, a mother and an unexpected Covid death; and the opening of an essay on “the unstable boundaries” between fiction and non-fiction in the digital age.

Virtual Crossways 2021 followed on from the Crossways Festivals of 2018 and 2019, which were staged in Glasgow and which featured writers and performers in Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Scots and English. The particular aim of Crossways is to foster and expand literary links across the North Channel.

In 2021, it brought together Irish writers from across the island of Ireland, together with their Scottish peers, underscoring the longstanding contribution of Irish people, history, language, culture and writing to both Glasgow and the Scottish nation.

Virtual Crossways 2021 was sponsored and organised by Irish Pages/Duillí Éireann. It received financial support from the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme, Foras na Gaeilge, Colmcille, and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

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