An Leabhar Liath

Front Cover
Peter Mackay, Iain S. MacPherson
Luath Press Limited, 2016 - Bawdy poetry, Scottish Gaelic - 349 pages

Winner of the 2016 Donald Meek Award.

This collection, covering 500 years of transgressive Gaelic poetry with new English translations, breaks the mould for anthologies of Gaelic verse. It offers poems that are erotic, rude, seditious and transgressive; that deal with love, sex, the body, politics and violent passion; and that are by turns humorous, disturbing, shocking and enlightening. In scholarly introductions in Gaelic and English the editors give contexts for the creation, transmission and value of these poems, as historical documents, as joyous - or tragic - works of art, as products of a culture and counter-cultures that have survived centuries of neglect, suppression or threats of being 'burned by the hand of the common executioner'. After reading this book, you won't think of Gaelic culture in quite the same way ever again.

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About the author (2016)

Dr Peter Mackay was selected as one of the 10 New Generation Thinkers by BBC Radio 3. He has devoted his studies to Scottish and Irish poetry beginning with his MA from Glasgow University and PhD from Trinity College, Dublin. Since his university days he has worked at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen's University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Sabhal Mr Ostaig, and he currently holds a position at University of St Andrews. Mackay has published several books on contemporary Irish and Scottish poetry and his own poetry and short stories have appeared in many collections.

Iain MacPherson first studied French Language and Literature in Canada before specialising in Scottish Gaelic at Sabhal Mr Ostaig. There he dedicated his time to textual analysis of poems and songs. MacPherson is currently a lecturer at the Irish & Celtic Studies at the University of Ulster, where he composed a corpus of Western Canadian Scottish Gaelic song-poems.

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