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Tha Seo Math Dhuibh Blog

Creative Writing Session

By 22nd June 2017 No Comments


Last week, Rody Gorman led a creative writing session at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

Out of the group, five of us were Gaelic speakers.  Danny and Therese from Australia, who were visiting Skye for a maths conference, joined us.  They wished to hear Gaelic, and it was decided that the session would be (mostly) in Gaelic and that Iseabail would translate for them.

We talked in Gaelic, some of us talked in English, we talked about Gaelic and about English.  We discussed writing, barriers to writing, reading, creativity, identity, place and language.

Rody gave us some simple and accessible writing exercises to do.  We were invited to share what we’d written with the group.  More discussion ensued.  Before we knew it, it was five o-clock and the library was closing – surely that is a sign of an engaging workshop!

Sùsaidh Arnold wrote a poem based on her experience and has kindly shared it with us:



Thàinig sinn còmhla

Sùsaidh is Siùsaidh

Iseabail is Rhona

Seonaid is Roddy

Danny is Theresa.


Fear à Èirinn

dithis à Sasainn

dithis à Astràilia

is triùir à Alba.


Thàing iad uile

leis an aon smaoin:

a dh’èisteachd

a chluinntinn

a bhruidhinn

is a chruthachadh

anns a’ Ghàidlig.


We came together

Sùsaidh and Siùsaidh

Iseabail and Rhona

Seonaid and Roddy

Danny and Theresa.


One of us from Ireland

two from England

two from Australia

and three from Scotland.


They all came

with the same idea:

to listen

to hear

to speak

and to create

in Gaelic.

Janet MacLeod wrote her first poem after the session, inspired by a snapshot she took during a day spent taking pictures in Edinburgh.


Boireannach sa bhàile mhòr


 Nad sheasamh aig solais trafaig

Dreach dòigheil, ‘designer’ ort

Deasaichte airson dreuchd

Sgeadaichte cho sgiobalta.


Mise air cùl a’ chamara

Nam thrusgan luchd-turais

Iomhaigh cho eadar-dhealaichte

Le deò duthchail nam anail.


Adhbhar fo chomhair dhut

Agus amas nad shùilean,

Gu bheil an lionnsa gun fhiosta

Gad thogail sa mhòmaid.

Candid photograph


You stand at the traffic crossing

Exuding efficiency and

Polished to perfection with

Your manicured designer look.


I stand behind my camera

Camoflagued as tourist but

Portraying another image with

Rural stamped on my persona.


Absorbed with your purpose,

The intention in your eye

Fails to notice my lens as

It captures you in this moment.


Thanks to Rody, to Cairistiona and Greg at SMO Library and to all who attended and shared  – it was a lovely afternoon.

The next creative writing workshop will be on Wednesday 12th July 2-4pm at Portree Community Library.  Maoilios Campbell will lead a session on poetry writing.  To book a place, call 01478 613 649 or email Iseabail@aros.co.uk