It was a pleasure to read at last month’s Post-Crash Irish Literature and Culture conference in Hong Kong. This was an event dedicated to exploring the emergence of the new wave of Irish literary culture in the wake of 2008’s economic collapse and subsequent recovery. Though of course this theme proved a mere jumping off point for an exhilarating and free-wheeling debate on Irish culture and society.
It was an honour to participate along side keynote speakers Eugene O’Brien and Anne Mulhall, as well as scholars like Hedwig Schwall, Amy Burnside and Clara Dawson. And of course my fellow poets Trevor Joyce, Dimitris Lyacos, Ailbhe Ni Ghearbhuigh and Nicholas Wong.
The conference’s cross current argument and ideas proved exhilarating and energising. I was surprised and delighted at how easily the ‘creative’ and ‘critical’ readings flowed int one and another over the course of the weekend. Equally impressive was the work being done on the Irish canon in both Hong Kong and mainland China, as exhibited by scholars like Jenny Kwok, Irene Chan and Chen Li.
All participants, I’m sure, returned from Hong Kong filled with inspiration. My thanks to organisers Robert Kiely, Emily Ridge and especially Michael O’Sullivan.