Dastram / Delirium samples the soaring verse of one of Scotland’s pivotal poetic talents, Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair (1698-c.1770). Alasdair was a Scottish Gaelic poet, lexicographer, military officer, and Gaelic language tutor to Charles Edward Stuart, popularly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. He published the first Gaelic-English dictionary and his poetry collection (Aiseirigh na Seann Chànain Albannach, 1751) was the first secular work published in a Celtic language. His reputation stirred controversy and his book was reputedly burnt in Edinburgh after publication. Dastram / Delirium is a work of formal innovation, political protest, revelry in nature, and erotic praise poetry. Though much-celebrated within his native Gaelic language, Alasdair’s poetry is as much neglected outside of Gaelic and this is the first collection to appear in English in over a century. Through these novel literary translations by Taylor Strickland, readers can re-visit his oeuvre and restore his name to the wider literary conscience.
Taylor Strickland is a poet and translator from the US. He is the author of Commonplace Book. His poem ‘The Low Road’ was adapted by American composer, Andrew Kohn, and performed in Orkney. His poem ‘Nine Whales, Tiree’ is being adapted to film with filmmaker Olivia Booker and composer Fee Blumenthaler. He is currently a doctoral candidate in literary translation at the University of Glasgow.
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