Inaugural Gaelic literature festival draws a crowd

4th December 2017

[:en]‘Às an Tobar’, the first Gaelic-medium literature festival held in Uist, was hailed a success by organisers Ceòlas Uibhist. The festival, which took place between 30th November and 2nd December, exhibited the range of work being produced in Gaelic, both by Uist authors or about Uist subjects. Over 130 people were in attendance throughout the weekend across the events.

Friday featured three sessions of ‘Leugh is Seinn’ with Linda MacLeod, who travelled from Eriskay to Ormacleit and Ìochdar, bringing her musical reading to kids across South Uist. ‘Leugh is Seinn’ is a Gaelic Books Council organised event aimed at encouraging Gaelic reading to children of preschool age.

In the evening, Ceòlas’ AGM was followed by the Uist launch of ‘Forradh: Sly Cooking’, an illustrated selection of a number of the words and expressions collected by Fr Allan MacDonald (1859-1905) in Eriskay and South Uist. Catrìona NicIlleDhuibh, author of ‘Forradh’ and originally from Edinburgh, flew in from the Netherlands, where she is now resident. Illustrations of Gaelic words in the book, in the form of linocuttings, were also for sale (http://slycooking.com/).

Locals had a second chance on Saturday afternoon to discuss these cherished words, many of which are still remembered by the community. Conversation ranged from landscape-specific features such as ‘bàsadair’ and ‘sùil-chruthaich’ to personality descriptors including ‘cabag’ and ‘smuig’, demonstrating the semantic wealth of the Gaelic language in the area.

Seonag Monk, well-known in the Gaelic world as radio presenter and comedy writer of great merit, delighted audiences conversing about her writing inspirations and reading from her book ‘Mil san Tì’. Growing up in the ferryman’s house in Gramasdail, Benbecula, she was surrounded from an early age by storytelling and this has manifested in her own attractive style.

South Uist has been home to a great number of Gaelic bards of high quality over the years. In 2017, Marion Morrison received the New Gaelic Writers Award for her Gaelic poetry, a prize by the Scottish Book Trust and Gaelic Books Council to encourage new writers in the language. The audience listened to a selection of her poetry, ranging from Romani in the Barcelona streets to sunsets from the Our Lady of the Isles statue on Ruaidheabhal, before being treated to a short cèilidh in the traditional style.

Ceòlas would like to thank the festival’s funders – Scottish Book Trust, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, HIE and Creative Scotland, and to Kildonan Museum, Acair publishers, MacTV, our caterer and all those who came out to the events. The festival will be back during the same week in 2018.

[:gd]’S e soirbheachas mòr a bh’ anns a’ chiad fhèill litreachais tron Ghàidhlig ann an Uibhist, ‘Às an Tobar’, a rèir Ceòlas Uibhist, a chuir air dòigh i. A’ ruith eadar 30 Samhain is 2 Dùbhlachd, bha an fhèill a’ taisbeanadh na farsaingeachd de litreachas ga cruthachadh sa Ghàidhlig, an dà chuid le Uibhistich no mu chuspairean Uibhisteach. Bha còrr is 130 duine an làthair thar na fèille.

DihAoine, bha 3 seiseanan ‘Leugh is Seinn’ le Linda NicLeòid, a shiubhal eadar Èirisgeidh, Ormacleit is an t-Ìochdar, a’ toirt an leughaidh cheòlmhor gu clann air feadh Uibhist a Deas. ’S e tachartas a bhrosnaicheas leughadh Gàidhlig do chlann ro-sgoile a th’ ann an ‘Leugh is Seinn’, air a chur air adhart le Comhairle nan Leabhraichean.

Feasgar, an dèidh AGM Cheòlais, bha an lainnse Uibhisteach dhe ‘Forradh: Sly Cooking’, leabhar dealbhaichte de thaghadh de na faclan a chruinnich Mgr Ailein (1859-1905) ann an Èirisgeidh is Uibhist. Bha Catrìona air tighinn às an Òlaind far a bheil i na còmhnaidh, a’ toirt leatha phriontaichean lino a bha rin reic.

Fhuaireadh dàrna cothrom feasgar DhiSathairne air bruidhinn mu na faclan ionmhainn seo, feadhainn a tha fhathast an cuimhne nan daoine. Shuath an còmhradh air faclan àrainneachd leithid ‘bàsadair’ agus ‘sùil-chruthaich’ gu faclan mu dhaoine mar ‘cabag’ – cuideigin a bhruidhneas cus – agus ‘smuig’ – cuideigin a bhios ga saoiltinn fhèin, a’ sealltainn a’ bheairteis chainnt ri lorg fhathast anns an sgìre.

’S e Seonag Monk, preasantair radio agus sgrìobhadair comadaidh aithnichte comasach, a thug tlachd dhan èisteachd agus i bruidhinn agus a’ leughadh na sgrìobhainn aice fhèin às an leabhar ‘Mil san Tì’. A’ fàs suas ann an taigh an fhir-aiseig ann an Gramasdail, Beinn na Faoghla, bha i air a cuairteachadh bho aois òg le sgeulachdaichean agus sin a’ toirt buaidh air an stoidhle aice fhèin.

’S iomadh bàrd a fhuair àrach ann an Uibhist a Deas thar nam bliadhnaichean. Ann an 2017, chaidh Duais nan Sgrìobhadairean Ùra a bhuileachadh air Marion NicIlleMhoire le Urras Leabhraichean na h-Alba agus Comhairle nan Leabhraichean airson a cuid bàrdachd. Rinn i aithris dhan bhàrdachd aice, a’ toirt an luchd-èisteachd air turas bho shràidean Bharcelona gu ‘Ar Ban-tighearna nan Eilean’ air gualainn Ruaidheabhail. Lean strùbag bhlasta agus cèilidh ghoirid na dhèidh sin.

Bu mhath le Ceòlas taing a thoirt don luchd-maoineachaidh – Urras Leabhraichean na h-Alba, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Leabhraichean, HIE agus Alba Chruthachail, agus gu Taigh-tasgaidh Chill Donnain, Acair, MacTV, an solaraiche-bìdhe agus do na daoine a thàinig a-mach do na tachartasan. Bidh an fhèill air ais aig an aon àm ann an 2018.

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