I’ll try to avoid every typical phrase used about the Irish language or the Gaeltacht that you might see from school essays to the comments section on certain news sites. The matter is far too serious to use such platitudes. Instead, I’ll try to tackle the issue head-on to find a potential solution.Continue reading
The last few weeks brought with them a surge of creative energy in me recently, and I haven’t let such precious energy go to waste!
I’m currently waiting on the proof copies of Yesterdates to be delivered from the printers, where my editor and I will examine every page before preparing the paperback edition for the big bookshelf world. I’ve even had a few bookworms look over the digital edition to get their feedback, and it was overwhelmingly positive. I really cannot wait to share this new book with you, and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did while writing and reviewing it. In the meantime, if you’re more of an ebook reader than a paperback fan (or you just can’t wait), you can now pre-order Yesterdates on Apple Books, Goodreads, Rakuten Kobo, and any good ebook provider.Continue reading
Tha mi a’ tighinn air ais gu h-Alba an t-Samhain seo!
Or in English: I’m coming back to Scotland this November!
I’m delighted to be performing some of my poetry alongside another great poet, Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, as part of the Edinburgh Gaelic Festival.
Similar to our own Seachtain na Gaeilge festival, the Edinburgh Gaelic Festival (or ‘Seachdain na Gàidhlig’) celebrates Scottish Gaelic literature, music, and culture in Scotland’s most beautiful city. I’ve been to Edinburgh twice before, and both times have been a treat for the soul. To return a third time to take part in this festival will hopefully be no exception!
The name of the event is “Na Balaich Aighearach | Na Buachaillí Aeracha“, noting the fact that both Marcas and I are LGBT poets, writing in our respective Gaelic languages. Undoubtedly, being part of not just one minority, but two (the LGBT and Irish/Gaelic-language communities) is a theme that both of us have explored in our writing, but I’ll be interested to see the differences in our styles and topics, also.
Similar to myself, Marcas has been published a few times already, with his poetry collections, Deò, and Lus na Tùise. My own EILE Magazine reviewed his début collection, Deò, where his poem Sluagh-Ghairm (Battlecry) received particular praise for its power and style.
The event takes place on Saturday, November 10, at the Waverley Bar on St. Mary’s Street (EH1 1TA) from 8pm. Entry is free, and the event will be presented in a mixture of Scottish Gaelic, Irish, and English. I also hope to have some copies of my début poetry collection, Fás | Growth, available for sale at the event – airplane luggage restrictions permitting! If you’re interested in attending and are on Facebook, it would be great if you check out the Facebook event page.
“It is not in the interests of our community for Irish (which our ancestors shunned as they would rocky crags) to be spoken widely and freely.”
So wrote Richard Stanyhurt, a Dublin-born alchemist and Latin translator, in 1587.
Four hundred and thirty years later, such opinions are still being voiced against the language, and despite the words of Stanyhurt then, to the likes of Kevin Myers et al. today, the language continues to be spoken. For over four centuries (and counting) the Anglo-Irish and Anglo-centric Irish have hoped for a day when, as Sir John Davies wrote in 1612, “…the next generation will in tongue […] become English; so as there will be no difference or distinction but the Irish sea betwixt us”. Continue reading
“Tá mé thuas staighre, i mo shuí in aice le cófra na gcluichí…”
To my surprise, I wasn’t the first person to arrive to the social event I had arranged on a cold Monday night in Nottingham’s city centre. Someone else had beaten me to it; someone I hadn’t met before, but who was now patiently, nervously, waiting for me to join him upstairs, beside the ‘games cabinet’ (which I had yet to discover) in the Malt Cross pub. His message came through on the Meetup app, just as I arrived into the pub with my partner. Continue reading