Gaelic bard’s book brings together four languages

A collection of poetry which is presented in four languages has been created by the University’s first Gaelic Writer in Residence.

Leugh sa Ghàidhlig

The book by Martin MacIntyre shares a collection of 52 poems, with each published in Gaelic, Catalan, Welsh and English.

Martin MacIntyre

The volume, called A' Ruith Eadar Dà Dhràgon (Running Between Two Dragons/Corrent Entre Dos Dracs/Rhedeg Rhwng Dwy Ddraig), is being launched at an event at the University’s 50 George Square on Friday 19 April at 1900.

The poems were all written in Gaelic by Martin MacIntyre in 2019 and 2020 from his travels in Spain and Wales.

The motif of two dragons is central to the book – with the symbol linking to the emblem on the Welsh flag and Catalonia's famous beast, which was slain by Sant Jordi, as St. George is known in Catalan.

Translated collection

The collection of poetry has been translated into Welsh by former National Poet of Wales, Ifor ap Glyn.

Noèlia Diaz-Vicedo, a leading poet and translator based at the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma, Spain, worked on the Catalan translation.

Martin has translated all of the poems into English for the book, published by Francis Boutle Publishing.

Contributing poets

At the event, the three contributing poets will read a selection of poems from the collection in all four languages.

The launch will also feature a specially composed  tune written in response to the poems by Fraser Fifield, Traditional Artist in Residence at the University.

Martin MacIntyre, whose Gaelic fiction and poetry is published under the name Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir, joined the University as its first Gaelic Writer in Residence in 2022.

The award-winning writer has had eight works of fiction and a previous collection of poems published. He is also a practising GP.

In this new collection, Martin touches on subjects as varied as anticipating being at a rugby match in Cardiff with his 18-year-old son, bilingual banter in a Mallorcan bakery, and watching a father capture the perfect shot of his daughter for Instagram.

Written against the backdrop of the pandemic, the poet also touches on a Five Nations rugby match affected by Covid and a cheerful Mallorcan hotelier in a mask meeting and greeting guests.

Inspired by what I was seeing, poem after poem arrived and that led me to Wales in March 2020, less than a week before the Covid lockdown. Later that year, I travelled to Mallorca as people struggled to re-emerge into a fearful world. Many things caught my attention during my journey, and I managed to capture some of these in poems with which I was eventually satisfied. I’d love people to read the poems in Gaelic, Catalan, Welsh, or English. Or, indeed, in as many of those languages as they have!

Martin MacIntyreGaelic Writer in Residence

The project was supported by The Gaelic Books Council, Book Trust Scotland and Creative Scotland.

A second launch for the collection is taking place in Glasgow on Saturday 20 April 24 as part of Ceòl is Craic, CCA, Sauchiehall Street, at 7-8pm. All three poets are taking part.

Martin MacIntyre is an Edinburgh-based author, poet and storyteller with over 25 years of experience.

He is using his two-year tenure as Gaelic Writer in Residence to inspire people to get involved in Gaelic writing and poetry.

The post has been created as part of the University’s Gaelic language plan 2019-2024, which sets out the commitment to Gaelic language, culture and communities within the University and beyond.

The role has been part-funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig – the Scottish Government’s Gaelic Board.

Related links

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