Women Aloud 2017 in Dublin #WomenXBorders


Today I am processing all that happend at the #WomenXBorders event organised by Women Aloud NI and Irish Writers Centre in celeberation of International Women’s Day.

Find out more about Women Aloud NI here

Find out more about Irish Writers Centre here

Both are tremendous supports to women writers, and writing generally across Ireland.

Some random thoughts from the day.

(1) I loved the in-train recital. People read incredibly well given that they were in a moving carriage with tannoy announcements (which included, wonderfully, ongoing announcements letting everyone on the train know we were there). I think I would like people to read to me on the train everytime I travel by rail – I think I might also like it on the bus…

(2) Between all that were there and all the women who might have been there but weren’t – even I was astonished by the tremendous breadth of writing that is being published by women writers. I hope very much, am optimistic in fact, that this event has increased visibility enormously. Thanks in no small part to the organisers, it has to be said. More power to their elbow. A privilege to have been there.

(3)  I was very glad to attend the writers communities panel. I live as much as I can, rather than talk much about it, in a manner that I hope will maximise inclusive spaces, and I am always on the look out for strategies, or conversations, about how this can happen most effectively. It seems to me that this can often mean finding, drawing strength and support from a range of communities of interest – rather than one single one. For me, living in my styx-ian idyll, this means making sure I know as much about what is going on locally, and close-to-locally (online for example) that can support me and  other writers in my networks to make informed choices about what support works best, and the confidence to move to and through those worlds that are the most, in equal parts, nurturing and forward moving. I don’t talk much about this, mostly because of lack of time. It was great to be part of that kind of conversation again. I would love a network of styx connectors where we could keep a weather eye out on developments so as to brief our geographic communities.

(4) Women travel writers we salute you (and missed you). I was really surprised by the loud chorus of poetry in the massed reading bit. Generally, it is no surprise, but on the day I was thrilled to hear so many prose readings and really felt that they had the edge on the day.  The three-minute deadline was good because it whetted my apetite to hear a lot more of a lot more books…

(5) I hope very good things happen from this – and great fortune to those who made this happen.



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