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Biography

Aonghas Macneacail was born in 1942 on the Isle of Skye, and attended Glasgow University from 1968-1971. He has published several collections of poems, mostly in Gaelic with parallel English translations, including An Seachnadh/The Avoiding (1986) and Oideachadh Ceart/A Proper Schooling (1996), the latter winning the 1997 Stakis Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year. A collection of poems in English, Rock and Water, appeared in 1990. His latest book is a collection of Gaelic poems, Laoidh an Donais Oig/Hymn to a Young Demon (2007).

Over a period of 30 years, he has held creative writing fellowships with various community and educational bodies, including the Gaelic College in Skye, Brownsbank (Hugh MacDiarmid's last home), Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities, and, most recently, in eight Dumfries and Galloway schools. The latter has resulted in a substantial anthology of pupils' writing.

His work has been widely translated and has appeared in many magazines and anthologies both in the UK and abroad. He has written plays and scripts for television and radio. In 1993 he wrote a four-part documentary series on Gaelic culture for Scottish Television and Driven West, a five-part drama for BBC Radio Scotland, and has recently worked, as a co-writer, on the feature film Seachd - The Inaccessible Pinnacle. He has also collaborated with various musicians, writing libretti and songs, and has toured all over the world to give recitals and lectures.

Bibliography

Poetry Quintet   (contributor)   Gollancz, 1976

Imaginary Wounds   Print Studio Press, 1980

Sireadh Bradain Sicir/Seeking Wise Salmon   (illustrated by Simon Fraser)   Balnain Books, 1983

An Cathadh Mor/The Great Snowbattle   (illustrated by Simon Fraser)   Balnain Books, 1984

An Seachnadh/The Avoiding   Lines Review Editions, 1986

Rock and Water   Polygon, 1990

A Writers' Ceilidh   (editor)   Balnain Books, 1991

Sgathach, the Warrior Queen   Balnain Books, 1993

Scotland: A Linguistic Double Helix   (with Iseabail MacLeod)   European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages, 1995

Oideachadh Ceart/A Proper Schooling   Polygon, 1996

Laoidh an Donais Oig/Hymn to a Young Demon   Polygon, 2007

Prizes and awards

1983   Scottish Arts Council Writer's Bursary

1992   Scottish Arts Council Writer's Bursary

1997   Paul Hamlyn Award for Poetry   (shortlist)

1997   Stakis Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year   Oideachadh Ceart/A Proper Schooling

2004   Bardic Crown, Ntaional Mod

2004   Feile Filiochta, Dun Laoghaire

 

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