The Gaelic Books Council has published a new collection of poems by a member of All Saints’ congregation, the distinguished poet Catriona Montgomery McLaughlin (Catrìona NicGumaraid NicLachlainn).
The new poems in ‘The Beauty Amongst the Flowers’ (Àilleagan am Measg nam Flùr), says Catriona’s husband, Thomas McLaughlin, “are remarkable for having been composed in 2017 while Catriona struggled against ill-health of such intensity as to render most of us unable to lift a pen”.
Many of Catriona’s poems reflect her Christian faith. She became the first writer in residence at the Gaelic college on Skye, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, in 1973, and was was crowned Bard of An Comunn Gàidhealach at the Oban Mòd in 2003.
‘The Length of the Night’ (Rè na h-Oidhche), published in 1994, is considered to be the definitive collection of Catrìona’s work. In its introduction, Sorley MacLean praised the ‘striking personality’ of her poetry and the poignancy and humour found there.
One of the poems from that collection, ‘Circle about the Moon’ (Cearcall mun Ghealaich), is included in the new ebook and has been set to music by the award-winning Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis. It appears on her 2017 album ‘Alterum‘. You can listen to excerpts on the BBC website and at MusicScotland.com.
• Catriona’s new ebook is reproduced below. You can navigate through it by using the arrows at the sides of the pages. Because of the Adobe format used by the publishers, the book might not display in some web browsers.