Aonghas MacNeacail

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Aonghas MacNeacail at Feile na Greine, Tech Amergin, Waterville, Co Kerry

Aonghas MacNeacail (born 1942), nickname Aonghas dubh or Black Angus) is a contemporary writer in the Scottish Gaelic language. Born and brought up in the Isle of Skye, he was registered at birth as Angus Nicolson, but has changed his official name to the Gaelic version. He attended Uig Primary School and Portree High School, and from 1968 the University of Glasgow where he was one of a group of young writers who gathered around Philip Hobsbaum which also included James Kelman, Tom Leonard, Alasdair Gray, Liz Lochhead and Jeff Torrington.

Besides drawing on Gaelic traditions, MacNeacail is influenced by the Black Mountain School of the USA. He has held writing fellowships in Scotland, including residences at the Gaelic college of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, and reads his work at festivals around the world. He has collaborated with musicians and visual artists, and written drama.

MacNeacail won the Stakis Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year with his third collection, Oideachadh Ceart ('A Proper Schooling and other poems'), in 1997. His most recent collection Laoidh an Donais òig ('hymn to a young demon') was published by Polygon in 2007. His partner is the actor and writer Gerda Stevenson.

Macneacail left a notable mark in the Hermitage, near Dunkeld. In the Ossian Hall , we can indeed read a poem of his translated in English.


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