Updated January 1, 2019
My second collection of poems in English, "Eating Thistles,"
will be published by Smokestack Press in August, 2019.
My first collection in Gàidhlig will appear sometime this year as
well; details as and when I can publish them!
My poem "A Night at the Averof" appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Issue 126, which was published in December of 2018. Also in the autumn I had three poems in Pennine Platform
No. 84, which was the final issue to be edited and designed by
Nicholas Bielby, who is handing over the editorship to Julia
Deakin, co-editor of the current issue, and the design to Andy
Boobier. I wish them both good luck, and am grateful to Bielby
for his excellent editorial advice. I also had a poem in the Autumn
2019 edition of Northwords Now, Issue 36, this time in Gàidhlig; the entire issue can be read on-line.
Earlier in the year two of my poems in Gàidhlig were published in Irish Pages, Vol
10, No 1, "Criticism," along with poems in Gàidhlig by
Aonghas Phàdraig Caimbeul, Rody Gorman and Meg Bateman. The issue
is brim full of good poetry, fiction, and, as the title suggests,
criticism (or essays on criticism) by authors from Ireland and beyond.
For me the outstanding essay is "The World as Weimar," by Vuk
Perisic, on fascism and it's nationalistic variants.
I also had two poems in Causeway/Cabhsair, Volume Nine, Issue One: among other good writing are the particularly powerful poems of Martin Malone and Peter Manson.
News from 2017:
September of 2017 I won the Duais Bàrdachd MacDhòmhnaill
Shlèite for the second time; details about the prize and my
poem, Geug an Dòchais, can be found here, in both English and Gaelic.
Over the year I had poems in English published in several
magazines, beginning with a poem in the Frogmore Papers (Issue 89), followed by
poems in Northwords Now, (No 33), Acumen
No 88, Crannóg (No 45), and The Interpreter's House (Issue 66). The entire issue of Northwords Now can be read
on-line, for free. In
the issue of Crannóg I was particularly pleased to see
another masterful poem, “But Still it Moves,” from Patrick
Deeley, whose work just floors me.
News from 2016:
I've had four poems published in the new magazine, Steall, published by Clàr.
This magazine is a much-needed addition to the Gaelic literary
scene, and includes new poetry and fiction, essays, reviews,
interviews, translations, and even a bit of music, all in Gàidhlig, in
an elegantly designed, "perfect bound" volume.
new from Clàr is a second book of poetry by Niall O' Gallagher, "Suain
nan Trì Latha." In this book O' Gallagher uses
the classical forms of Gaelic poetry in a very modern context, to
Earlier this autumn, I won the Wigtown Poetry Competition for the
second year in a row, and also the Duais Bàrdachd MacDhòmhnaill Shlèite.
This latter prize, (The
MacDonald of Sleat Poetry Prize), was judged by Meg Bateman, Mark
Wringe, and Mairi Sìne Caimbeul. The prize was inaugurated
in 1915 by Sir Ian MacDonald in memory of his daughter, Deborah, who
died two years ago. The theme of the competition each year
relates to trees, and this year it was "a sapling." My poem is
based on a passage from Talmud Babylon, Tractate Gittin, 57a,
concerning the planting of a sapling on the birth of a child.
I will post a link to the poem when it becomes available.
The Wigtown prize was judged by Catriona Lexy Campbell, and my poem, "Clann na Coille," can be read here, along with the Highly Commended poem, Falach-Fead, by Marcas Mac Tuairneir.
My poem "Faodail" was published in The Poet's Republic,
Issue 3, Summer 2016, and I had a great time at a launch for that
in Inverness, where there were readings from Marcas Mac Tuairneir
(Gàidhlig editor for the magazine) and Iain MacRath, the actor, whose
poetry is every bit as good as his acting!
In May my poem "The Anarchy Waltz" appeared in Causeway/Cabhsair
Volume seven, issue one, which includes the usual good mixture of
writing from Ireland and Scotland; in this issue I was
particularly taken by the work of Patrick Deeley, Donald S. Murray
and Greg MacThòmhais.
Also in the spring I had several poems in Southlight 19, published in Dumfries & Galloway.
My poem “Milkweed Down” was a runner up in the Words on the
Waves Competition this year, (2016). The
judge was Jane Clarke, and the winner
was Brian Farry, with his poem “Brain Scan”.
Second prize went to Nancy Anne Miller, and the other runner ups were
Paul Breggazi, Patrick Chapman, and Anita Heffernan. Good poems all.
News from 2015:
I've had two poems published in Poetry Salzburg
Review, No. 28, Autumn 2015. As always,
there’s much to admire in the magazine, with work by Patrick Deeley, Ray Givens
and Kevin Graham all attracting my attention.
Pennine Platform (No. 78) includes three of my poems, along with some marvellous work
from Ray Givans, Philip Foster and Chris Hardy, just to name a few.
I also have a poem in the current issue of Northwords Now, Issue 30, which can be read on-line.
I've been reading (and writing) a good deal of poetry in
Gaelic lately, and am currently enjoying the new book by Peter Mackay
(Padraig MacAoidh), Gu Leòr/Galore, published by Acair. This book
has original poems in English and Gaelic, with translations for the
Gaelic poems by the author. Rody Gorman writes, "This is an
intelligent, measured and powerfully resonant collection...;" I agree!
For more about Peter, see the news of the Wigtown Poetry
My poem "Lilidh sa' Mhachair" has won the Scottish Gaelic poetry prize in the Wigtown Poetry competition 2015.
The judge this year was Peter Mackay (Padraig MacAoidh).
Three other poets - Meg Bateman, Niall O'Gallagher, and
Marcus Mac Tuairneir were Highly Commended. Peter Mackay is
himself a prize-winning poet, and a lecturer at St. Andrews
University. He was named recently as one of the BBC New
Generation Thinkers. The St. Andrews University student
paper, The Saint, provides a good introduction to Mackay and his work here.
Earlier in the year I won the Words on the Waves (WOW!) poetry competition 2015, with my poem "Eclogue".
The judge for the competition was Afric McGlinchey, and the second
prize winner was Patrick Deeley.
The short list also included Caroline Bracken, Roger Elkin,
Michael O' Connor, and David Butler. The winning poems, and the
winning stories from the same competition, are published in the Words on the Waves Anthology 2015.