Creative Conversations: Taylor Strickland
Tuesday, 16 May, 2023 – 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
5 University Gardens, Glasgow G12 8QH Room 101 – Edwin Morgan Poetry Library Glasgow G12 8QH
ABOUT Taylor Strickland:
Taylor Strickland is a poet and translator from the US. He is the author of Commonplace Book and Dastram / Delirium. His poem ‘The Low Road’ was adapted by American composer, Andrew Kohn, and performed in Orkney. His poem ‘Nine Whales, Tiree’ is in the process of being adapted to film with filmmaker Olivia Booker and composer Fee Blumenthaler. He is currently a doctoral candidate in literary translation at the University of Glasgow, and he lives in Glasgow, with his wife, Lauren.
Dastram / Delirium was named as a POETRY BOOK SOCIETY SUMMER 2023 TRANSLATION CHOICE
Dastram / Delirium samples the soaring verse of one of Scotland’s pivotal poetic talents, Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair. Formal innovation, political protest, revelry in nature, and erotic praise poetry are all contained here, the first full-length collection of Alasdair to appear in English in over a century. An Enlightenment mind and contemporary of Pope, Hume and Burke, his poetry should have been the indigenous genius Samuel Johnson and James Boswell sought out in their now-infamous literary tour through the Highlands and Islands. Though much-celebrated within his native Gaelic language, Alasdair’s poetry is as much neglected outside of Gaelic. But now, in novel literary translations by Taylor Strickland, readers can re-visit his oeuvre and restore his name to the wider literary conscience.
PRAISE for Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair:
The greatest of Scottish Gaelic poets.
— Hugh MacDiarmid
Unconquerable… [he joins] titanic struggle with the naturalist realism in which eighteenth-century Gaelic poetry excels.
— Sorley MacLean
PRAISE for Taylor Strickland:
After Garry MacKenzie’s imaginative reinterpretation of Moladh Beinn Dòbhrain, Taylor Strickland reinvigorates another Gaelic icon, Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair/Alexander MacDonald. More power to Taylor’s elbow and long may the reimaginings continue.
— Rody Gorman
ABOUT Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair:
Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair (c.1698-c.1770) was a Scottish Gaelic poet, lexicographer, military officer, and Gaelic language tutor to Charles Edward Stuart, popularly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. Little of his life can be confirmed aside from his role as a teacher in Scotland’s Ardnamurchan peninsula, and as a captain in the Clanranald regiment of the 1745 rebellion. His only volume of poetry, the self-published Aiseirigh na Seann Chànain Albannaich (1751), was the first secular work to be published in any of the Celtic languages. As a teacher, he compiled and published the first Gaelic-English dictionary. Alasdair’s reputation has stirred controversy, his book reputedly having been burnt in Edinburgh after its publication.
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