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  • Deo by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir (GNPBK039)

Deo by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir


Product Description


In Deò, Mark Spencer-Turner, an up and coming young poet, released his first collection of Poems in Scottish Gaelic. This book is fully bilingual Gaelic – English. The Book has 7 sections, 43 poems all bilingual and 19 photos most of them by photographer Iain Ross (who has given permission ot use he photos which include the cover photos.

Martin MacIntyre, he says:

“I was privileged to be given a sneak preview of Marcas’s work in progress over the last two years or so; you now have the pleasure collected here in ‘Deò’ and desirous of your active reading. These poems take us to many places, both physical and emotional, and they do so in carefully crafted apposite language. 

Fear, darkness and regret are there but also joy and hope and pursuit of a richer world. We often meet love. As is her wont, her capricious nature reveals anger, dissatisfaction, and bewilderment even, that she is not properly understood. She is also though capable of forgiveness, of falling head-over-heels, and does not conceal wonder at how deeply she has been stirred from placid repose.”




Foreword by Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir 


  1. Caol-shràid/Snickleway
  2. Siubhal/Journey
  3. Saobhaidh nan Sgrìobhaichean I/The Writers’ Den I
  4. Sluagh-ghairm/ Battlecry

Cuarsgag Ghaoil/Lovecycle 

  1. Muir/Sea
  2. Dùn Èideann/ Edinburgh
  3. Aisling Ghaoil/Vision of Love
  4. Deireadh/Finality
  5. Às do dhèidh/After you
  6. Rùisgte/Unsheathed 

Obar Dheathain/Aberdeen

  1. CaithrisnahOidhche/Nightvisit
  2. Meadhan-oidhche/Midnight
  3. An Leabaidh/The bed
  4. Madainn/Morning
  5. Camhanach nam Feannag/The Crows’ Dawn
  6. Dorchadas/Darkness

Òrain / Songs

  1. An Iolaire/The Iolaire
  2. Sràid Mhic Curtáin/McCurtain St.
  3. Tumadach/Lead
  4. An Oidhche a Cheumnaich Ciorstaidh/The Night Kirsty Graduated 

An t-Eilean Sgitheanach/The Isle of Skye 

  1. Nam aonar am measg do chàirdean/Alone amongst your friends
  2. Gàirnealair/Gardener
  3. Uisge Teth/Hot Water
  4. Fear-faire/LighthouseKeeper
  5. Cuimhne nan Clach/The Memory of Stones


  1. Cathair-eaglais Naomh Neacal de Bhari/ Pro-Cathedral of St. Nicholas
  2. Cenicero/Cenicero
  3. Thall Thairis/Abroad 
  4. Ceithir Ceàrnan an tSaoghail/Four Corners of the Globe
  5. Saobhaidh nan Sgrìobhaichean II/The Writers’ Den II
  6. An tÈireannach/An tAlbannach
  7. Helios/Helios
  8. Fèille an Loghain/Jubilee
  9. Baisteadh/Baptism
  10. Eilthireachd bho Ghlaschu/Escape from Glasgow
  11. El Camino/El Camino 
  12. Òran Aost’/Old Song 
  13. 1Cùmhant mo chlèibh/Covenant of my chest 
  14. 1Tòcaichean/Tokes 
  15. Am Bàrd/The Poet 128 





EILE Magazine Issue 06 - November 2013


For as well-established as gay-themed poetry is in English-language literature, it is still but a fledgling form in the literary worlds of the Gaelic languages. While Irish has its fair share of modern gay writers - Micheal 'O Conghaile and Alex Hijmans, to name two of the most recent- the same cannot be said for that of its sister language, Scottish Gaelic. That might soon change, however, with the introduction of gay writer, Mark Spencer Turner - better known to Gaelic speakers as Marcas Mac an Tuirneir.

Deò (meaning 'breath') is the first poetry collection from Mac an Tuairneir, who is originally from York but studied at Aberdeen University, where he learned Gaelic. The collection is written in Scottish Gaelic with English translations on the opposite page, facilitating those whose 'Gaidhlig' ranges from rusty to non-existant. Deo explores the journeys of youth from many perspectives, taking inspiration from such places as Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Alicante, Ireland and his home city of York.

The imagery in much of this poetry is strikingly beautiful and strong, taking inspiration from physical, emotional, erotic and even linguistic landscapes. In Sluagh-Ghairm (Battlecry) he plays with the concept of the gay 'closet' when addressing the topic of Gaelic in Scotland, using the word and its meaning in both Gaelic and English:

Cha dhaibhsan a tha mi a' sgriobhadh, / Ach do f hleasgaichean bàna, diuid, / Sgaraicht' eadar closaid leis an aodach / Is closaid eile leis a' chac.

It's not for them that I'm writing, / But for the timmering, gentle lad, Stuck / between one closet with the clothing / And another closet with the crap.

As many of his poems are powerfully descriptive, Mac an Tuirneir proves his worth with Deo, showing his beautiful mastery of the Gaelic language and of poetry in general. There is a musicality to his writing that is hard to find in modern Gaeilic literature, especially when dealing with translations and idioms.

Deò is a welcome addition to the world of Gaelic poetry, as well as its new gay sub-genre.

It is also available on Kindle from Amazon.

Other Details

Poetry in Gaelic & English
Grace Note Publications

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