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Donald MacAulay - Poet

A native of Bernera, Lewis, in the Western Isles, he was educated at the Nicolson Institute, Stornoway, and at the universities of Aberdeen and Cambridge. Since graduating he has taught at the University of Edinburgh and at Trinity College, Dublin, and he is Reader in Celtic at the University of Aberdeen. MacArnhlaigh began
publishing verse in 1956 and although only one collection has appeared, Seobhrach as a 'Chloich (1967), a good selection of his work, with English translations, was pubished in his edition Nua-bhardachd Ghaidlig in 1976. Central to much of his work is his Lewis background, which appears in many guises as a theme in his poems: in 'Comharra Stiuiridh* ('Landmark') Lewis appears as an iceberg, 'a primary landmark/dangerous, essential, demanding'; and in 'An t-sean Bhean' ('Old woman') the island community is addressed collectively as an old woman striving to eke a living from her croft. That sense of ambiguity in his imagery characterizes most of his poetry and is especially present in his reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of his island background.

Works include : Seobhrach as a'Chloich (1967); ed., Somhairle MacGill-Eain, Deorsa Maclain Deorsa, Ruaraidh MacThomais and lain Mac a'Ghobhainn, Nua'bhctrdachd Chaidhlig (1976), ed., Oighreachd ' agus Gabhaltas (1981).

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