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An Leabhar Liath or The Light Blue Book

An Leabhar Liath or The Light Blue Book

500 Years of Gaelic love and transgressive verse

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This book sets out to reveal a side of Gaelic poetry often left out of the history books. It is a collection of poetry and songs that ranges from the suggestive to the erotic to the downright rude.

Title An Leabhar Liath or The Light Blue Book
Subtitle 500 Years of Gaelic love and transgressive verse
Author ed Peter MacKay & Iain MacPherson
ISBN 9781910745472
Binding Hardback
Author Bio

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 and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. 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 Mór 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.

Back Cover Text

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in Gaelic and English the editors give contexts for the creation, transmission and value of these poems, as historical documents, as joyous – or tragic – works of art, as products of a culture and counter-cultures that have survived centuries of neglect, suppression or threats of being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.

BIC Subject Scottish Gaelic (2AFS)
BISAC Subject LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh (LIT004120)
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