World Poetry Day / Là Bàrdachd na Cruinne

Mar 20, 2024 | Poetry

Happy World Poetry Day!

Today and tomorrow we are celebrating UNESCO’s World Poetry Day, Là Bàrdachd na Cruinne, which happens every year on March 21st. World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression. Poetry and storytelling have of course always been important parts of the Gaelic culture, and Gaelic stories and poems hundreds of years old are still told and recited today as they have been passed down through generations of Gaels.

World Poetry Day is an occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recital, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media. As poetry continues to bring people together across continents, all are invited to join in.

We at Bradan Press are happy to carry on the Gaelic poetry tradition through past publications and our four poetry collections currently in print. In these collections, Nova Scotian and Scottish authors have beautifully captured their upbringing, contemporary life, urban culture in Canada and Scotland, musings on the future of the language, the beauty of Sufi poet Rumi, and so much more. Here is a closer look at the collections:

Cridhe ’s Anam / Heart & Soul

Cridhe 's Anam / Heart and Soul by Catriona NicÌomhair Parsons

Catrìona NicÌomhair Parsons’ poems transport us from her upbringing in the Isle of Lewis to North America and New Zealand, with a focus on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia where she has made her home. Her work contemplates emigration, the endurance of Gaelic language & culture, Christianity, aging, nature, and the changing seasons. Hymns and translations of Canadian, Nova Scotian, and Cape Breton songs round out the collection. This collection features poems in Scottish Gaelic with English translation on the facing page.

Òr a Mhaireas / Lasting Gold

Òr a Mhaireas / Lasting Gold

This collection features new Gaelic poetry from eleven writers with Nova Scotian connections. In formats both modern and traditional, the authors explore joy and loss, connection and disconnection… and cookies! The poems demonstrate the tenacity of the Gaels and their language in the diaspora. Poems are presented in Scottish Gaelic with parallel English translations. 10% of profits from sales of the book will be donated to the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia.

Bhon Phlateau dhan a’ Chladach

Bhon Phlateau dhan a' Chladach cover

The first Gaelic poetry collection from Calum L. MacLeòid, 2016 winner of the Scottish Book Trust Gaelic New Writers Award for prose. Topics include urban culture and landscape in Canada and Scotland, relationships failed and successful, the lives of everyday objects, and emigrant life as a Gael mediated through the internet.


Ràithean airson Sireadh / Seasons for Seeking

Raithean airson Sireadh / Seasons for Seeking cover

Lewis MacKinnon’s fourth Scottish Gaelic poetry collection features translations of selected poems by Coleman Barks, well-known interpreter of the renowned 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, alongside MacKinnon’s own original poems. The poems in this bilingual collection are grouped thematically in sections corresponding to days that are celebrated in the Gaelic cultural calendar year in Nova Scotia.

You can read more about these books on our website or on our Facebook and Instagram. Happy World Poetry Day!