Updated February 8, 2020
Upcoming Event: I
will be reading at Stanza, in St. Andrews, on March 8. Details here!
My second collection of poetry in English, “Eating
Thistles,” published by Smokestack Books (Ripon), is now available from the
publisher and from other outlets, including inpressbooks, Amazon, and
My first collection in Gàidhlig, “Dàin nan Dùil,” was
published by CLÀR (Inverness) and is now available from the publisher, and also
from the Gaelic Books Council (Comhairle nan Leabhraichean).
2019 was a busy year for me.
In addition to the publication of the these two new collections, I won a
few prizes, read at various events, and had poems appear in several journals. 2020 looks busy, too, with more of my writing
already scheduled to appear soon in Steall, Poetry Salzburg, and Causeway/Cabhsair,
and, later in the year, in an anthology from Bloodaxe. I’ve also been branching out into new territory, having been asked to
write several reviews and working on translations from Gàidhlig, mostly for
Niall O’ Gallagher, whose work I esteem greatly.
In June of 2019 my poem “Beatha Ùr” won first prize in the Federation
of Scottish Writers Vernal Equinox
Competition, which was judged by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, and in May my poem
“An Drochaid” won third place in the
inaugural Sister Margaret MacDonell
Prize in Gaelic Poetry, established by The Department of Celtic Studies at St.
Francis Xavier University in Canada, in partnership with the Clan Donald Lands
“Beatha Ùr” was published in “High Tide,” the annual volume
of poetry from the Federation of Scottish Writers, and more of my poetry
appeared in Northwords Now (nos. 37 and 38), Frogmore Papers (No. 94), and
Crannóg (No. 51). I recommend all of
these journals for the many excellent poems that can be found in them.
News from 2018:
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:
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 “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:
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.
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.