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INVERNESS MOD 2021: Delight as appointment of celebrated Gaelic poet Rody Gorman who lives in the Highlands as the 'Bard' of An Comunn Gàidhealach announced

By Louise Glen

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Rody Gorman has been announced as the Bard.
Rody Gorman has been announced as the Bard.

The Royal National Mòd have appointed its new Bard today, Wednesday 13 October, as the sixth day of the prestigious annual Gaelic cultural event gets underway.

Celebrated Gaelic poet Rody Gorman has been awarded the historic literature honour in recognition of his significant contribution to the Gaelic literary world.

Born in Dublin and now living on the Isle of Skye, Rody has enjoyed a prolific career with dozens of Gaelic literary translations and original collections of poetry in Scottish Gaelic, Irish and English, to his name.

A lecturer in creative writing, he edits the annual bilingual anthology of contemporary Gaelic poetry An Guth and has been awarded numerous writing fellowships and residencies, including writing fellow at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and convenor of the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee of Scottish PEN.

He is the 57th recipient of the Bardic award, which was first awarded almost 100 years ago in 1923.

The Skye-based writer takes over from outgoing Bard Sandaidh NicDhòmhnaill Jones, who held the role for two years after last year’s Mòd was unable to go ahead in person.

Mr Gorman said: “I am greatly honoured to have been awarded the position of Bard of the Comann Gàidhealach in recognition of my work over the years. I am conscious and proud that in doing so I’m following in the footsteps of so many others, including Donald Macintyre, Mary Maclean, Angus Peter Campbell, Myles Campbell, Catriona Montgomery and Aonghas MacNeacail, not to mention the office-bearer in 1935, Donald Grant of Camuscross, where I have lived for more than 30 years. While in office I hope to promote Gaelic poetry and produce relevant work.”

Historically, Wednesday is the Mòd’s literature day, and this year will see various literary events take place, including an online literature programme, the launch of a new book of Gaelic songs and poems from the outgoing Bard, and an audience with two of Gaeldom’s most prominent writers, Alasdair C. Whyte and Angus Peter Campbell.

The crowning of the Bard comes ahead of this evening’s prestigious An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal, which will see a group of the best mens and ladies Gaelic singers from across Scotland compete in front of audiences in person at Eden Court Theatre and broadcast live on BBC Alba.

James Graham, Chief Executive Officer of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “Today marks the busiest day in the Mòd’s nine-day programme of events, with exceptional Gaelic musicianship and literary excellence to be enjoyed. After two successful days of children’s competitions, today it is the turn of the ladies and men as we welcome the prestigious Silver Pendant and Gold Medal competitions.

“We’re delighted to start the day by announcing celebrated Gaelic poet Rody Gorman as our new Bard. The mark Rody has made on Gaelic culture, through his own original works, translations and numerous literary endeavours, is considerable. A fantastic ambassador for Gaelic language and literature, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations.”

The Royal National Mòd runs until October 16.

READ: WATCH MOD 22: Watch the Royal National Mod round-up show from Tuesday's competitions from the Highland capital with Inverness broadcaster Kirsteen MacDonald

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