Christopher Whyte is a poet and translator whose last collection, Step by Step, which is published by Acair, was runner-up in the 2019 Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Prize. Whyte stopped off at the SPL towards the end of last year accompanied by his translator Petra Poncarova.
Since Christopher Whyte’s Gaelic poetry first appeared in the 1980s, he has been an influential and sometimes controversial figure in the world of Gaelic writing. In Whyte’s work, poetry and language are inescapably political, bound up with questions of belonging, enfranchisement and equality. But he is also an intensely personal poet.
During the course of our interview, he discusses how he came to learn Gaelic, why it is a language of resistance, and his relationships with several Scottish poetry greats such as Derrick Thomson, Sorley MacLean and Edwin Morgan, with who he conducted a groundbreaking interview.
Many thanks to Jack Rientoul who produced and edited this podcast. To learn more about Jack’s work, visit his Instagram page @jackrental and the Instagram page for his publishing company @snitchpublishes.