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Updated February 8, 2020

Deborah writes:

Upcoming Event:  I will be reading at Stanza, in St. Andrews, on March 8.  Details here!  

My second collection of poetry in English, “Eating Thistles,” published by Smokestack Books (Ripon), is now available from the publisher and from other outlets, including inpressbooks, Amazon, and Waterstones.

My first collection in Gàidhlig, “Dàin nan Dùil,” was published by CLÀR (Inverness) and is now available from the publisher, and also from the Gaelic Books Council (Comhairle nan Leabhraichean).     

2019 was a busy year for me.  In addition to the publication of the these two new collections, I won a few prizes, read at various events, and had poems appear in several journals. 2020 looks busy, too, with more of my writing already scheduled to appear soon in Steall, Poetry Salzburg, and Causeway/Cabhsair, and, later in the year, in an anthology from Bloodaxe. I’ve also been branching out into new territory, having been asked to write several reviews and working on translations from Gàidhlig, mostly for Niall O’ Gallagher, whose work I esteem greatly.           

In June of 2019 my poem “Beatha Ùr” won first prize in the Federation of Scottish Writers Vernal Equinox Competition, which was judged by Marcas Mac an Tuairneir, and in May my poem “An Drochaid” won third place in the inaugural Sister Margaret MacDonell Prize in Gaelic Poetry, established by The Department of Celtic Studies at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada, in partnership with the Clan Donald Lands Trust.

“Beatha Ùr” was published in “High Tide,” the annual volume of poetry from the Federation of Scottish Writers, and more of my poetry appeared in Northwords Now (nos. 37 and 38), Frogmore Papers (No. 94), and Crannóg (No. 51).  I recommend all of these journals for the many excellent poems that can be found in them. 

News from 2018:

My poem "A Night at the Averof" appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Issue 126, which was published in December of 2018.  Also in the autumn I had three poems in Pennine Platform No. 84, which was the final issue to be edited and designed by Nicholas Bielby, who is handing over the editorship to Julia Deakin, co-editor of the current issue, and the design to Andy Boobier.  I wish them both good luck, and am grateful to Bielby for his excellent editorial advice. I also had a poem in the Autumn 2019 edition of Northwords Now, Issue 36, this time in Gàidhlig;  the entire issue can be read on-line.           

Earlier in the year two of my poems in Gàidhlig were published in Irish Pages, Vol 10, No 1, "Criticism," along with poems in Gàidhlig by Aonghas Phàdraig Caimbeul, Rody Gorman and Meg Bateman.  The issue is brim full of good poetry, fiction, and, as the title suggests, criticism (or essays on criticism) by authors from Ireland and beyond.  For me the outstanding essay is "The World as Weimar," by Vuk Perisic, on fascism and it's nationalistic variants. 

I also had two poems in Causeway/Cabhsair, Volume Nine, Issue One:  among other good writing are the particularly powerful poems of Martin Malone and Peter Manson.

News from 2017:

In September of 2017 I won the Duais Bàrdachd MacDhòmhnaill Shlèite for the second time; details about the prize and my poem, Geug an Dòchais, can be found here, in both English and Gaelic.

Over the year I had poems in English published in several magazines, beginning with a poem in the Frogmore Papers (Issue 89), followed by poems in Northwords Now,  (No 33), Acumen No 88, Crannóg (No 45), and The Interpreter's House (Issue 66).  The entire issue of Northwords Now can be read on-line, for free. In the issue of Crannóg I was particularly pleased to see another masterful poem, “But Still it Moves,” from Patrick Deeley, whose work just floors me.

News from 2016:

Earlier this autumn, I won the Wigtown Poetry Competition for the second year in a row, and also the Duais Bàrdachd MacDhòmhnaill Shlèite.

This latter prize, (The MacDonald of Sleat Poetry Prize), was judged by Meg Bateman, Mark Wringe, and Mairi Sìne Caimbeul.  The prize was inaugurated in 1915 by Sir Ian MacDonald in memory of his daughter, Deborah, who died two years ago.  The theme of the competition each year relates to trees, and this year it was "a sapling."  My poem is based on a passage from Talmud Babylon, Tractate Gittin, 57a, concerning the planting of a sapling on the birth of a child.  I will post a link to the poem when it becomes available.

The Wigtown prize was judged by Catriona Lexy Campbell, and my poem, "Clann na Coille,"  can be read here, along with the Highly Commended poem, Falach-Fead, by Marcas Mac Tuairneir.

My poem “Milkweed Down” was a runner up in the Words on the Waves Competition this year, (2016).  The judge was Jane Clarke,  and the winner was Brian Farry, with his poem “Brain Scan”.   Second prize went to Nancy Anne Miller, and the other runner ups were Paul Breggazi, Patrick Chapman, and Anita Heffernan.  Good poems all.   

News from 2015:

My poem "Lilidh sa' Mhachair" has won the Scottish Gaelic poetry prize in the Wigtown Poetry competition 2015.  The judge this year was Peter Mackay (Padraig MacAoidh).  Three other poets - Meg Bateman, Niall O'Gallagher, and Marcus Mac Tuairneir were Highly Commended.    
Earlier in the year I won the Words on the Waves (WOW!) poetry competition 2015, with my poem "Eclogue".  The judge for the competition was Afric McGlinchey, and the second prize winner was Patrick Deeley.  The short list also included Caroline Bracken, Roger Elkin, Michael O' Connor, and David Butler.  The winning poems, and the winning stories from the same competition, are published in the Words on the Waves Anthology 2015.