Literary and arts organisations Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, Scottish Poetry Library and Literature Wales have launched a new digital poetry collaboration Bàrd, File, Bardd.
The project brings together poets from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to explore the links between the Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic languages. The title combines the word for ‘poet’ in the three featured languages.
The poets collaborating on the project are National Poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn, Dublin City University Writer in Residence and Ambassador for Áras na Scríbhneoirí Ciara Ní É, and the writer, broadcaster and lecturer at University of St Andrews Pàdraig Mac Aoidh (pictured above).
Their project explores identities and how languages continue to evolve and adapt to the modern world. Ahead of the launch, the poets held a series of digital workshops focusing on the idea of ‘mother tongues’, and what this means to people from various language communities, particularly within a bilingual context. The poets were commissioned to write three poems each following the workshops, and have worked with award-winning multimedia director Ian Rowlands, video editor and composer Jason Lye-Phillips and animator Pól Maguire to create the videos.
You can watch a short film collecting each poem read by their authors below.
From 1 October, which is the date of 2020’s National Poetry Day, each of the nine poems will be released individually with a choice of Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Scots and English subtitles.
Inspired by last year’s UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages, the project was originally developed as a live show with the intention of touring venues and festivals at the respective countries, but assumed a digital dimension due to the pandemic.