The titles of WB Yeats’s first collection of poems is the inspiration behind the naming of Crossways Literary Magazine, an online quarterly of poetry and short fiction based out of Ireland.
But the core inspiration behind this new publication was Founding Editor David Jordan’s “limited success” in getting his own work published. “I decided I would go to the other side and be the publisher and the person who says yes. I figured I might have more success in this role and get satisfaction from it.”
The name fits well, since the aim of the magazine, Jordan explains, “is to publish work by primarily emerging authors. I also like the notion of a crossways as a metaphor for encountering new minds which is what happens when you read a lit mag.”
And while Jordan admits this start-up may have all been rather “impulsive,” and he had no idea the kind of response he would get, it was both a joy and a challenge to have been overwhelmed by the first call for submissions. Ultimately, Jordan comments, “Saying yes to emerging authors is probably one of the most rewarding aspects of running this magazine. Deciding who gets in is quite a powerful position to be in, but I try not to let it get to my head!”
Jordan is more than well-equipped to judiciously manage the interest in Crossways. With his MA in English (Modernities) from UCC background, Jordan works as a web content writer and has published a collection of poems, a collection of short stories and a novella.
As for the editorial process, Jordan explains, “Basically, I mark submissions that grab me. Obviously, I don’t have the time to study every poem and story I receive so the work must really jump out at me. Of course, it is totally subjective but there are some objective considerations, such as having a balance between Irish writers and international writers.”
Crossways readers can expect to find poetry and short fiction that is challenging, imaginative and powerful as well as variety and an eye pleasing design and layout with artwork from masters such as William Blake, Van Gogh and Jack B Yeats. “The look of the magazine is tasteful, minimalist and generally just easy on the eye. I tried to make it look like a literary supplement to a broad sheet, like The Times Literary Supplement.” Jordan explains.
The current issue, Summer 2018, features Poems by Mike Gallagher, Kevin Cahill, Liam O’Neill, Miriam Craig, Peter Hughes, Maurice Devitt, Aislinn Joy, Byron Beynon, Gill Garrett, Attracta Fahy, Antoinette Rock, Margarita Serafimova, Richard Hawtree, Colin Dardis, William Miller, Agnieszka Filipek, Mike Dillon, Matt Nagin, Deirdre Daly; Short Fiction by John Cantwell, Shona Woods, Jackie Krogmeier, Conrad Pollock, Dermot O’Sullivan, John Siberry, Anita Goveas.
For writers, Crossways welcomes verse and short fiction that is original, poetic and challenging. “However,” Jordan notes, “we generally stay away from work that is experimental in nature. Each issue is made up of around 50% Irish authors and 50% international. We like to hear from emerging writers, but we also like to hear from established writers. We aim for variety so that readers will most likely find pieces they will enjoy and want to return to.”
Jordan is looking forward to keeping the publication going and would like to consider publishing interviews with writers and including a print option. “I had no idea I would get this far with it,” Jordan expressed. “People have been so generous in their praise. I will certainly keep this going for the foreseeable future.”