Marcas Mac an Tuairneir (Mark Spencer Turner) writes poetry, prose, drama and journalism, in Gaelic and English, and splits his time between Edinburgh and his hometown of York
With two full collections in print, ('Deò', Grace Note Publications, 2013 and 'Lus na Tùise', Bradan Press, 2016) and three poetic manuscripts in development, Marcas is one of the most prolific Gaelic poets of the Twenty-first Century. He has been published in various journals and short-listed for several poetry prizes including ' Duais Flíochta Dhúbhglas de hÍde' 'Comórtas Filóchta an Chornéil Eoghain Uí Néill' and ' Off the Stanza'. In 2014, he was awarded the Highland Literary Salon prize for poetry and both second and first place in the ' The Baker Prize' for Gaelic Literature. In 2015, he placed second in the national William Blake Poetry Prize, for his poetry in English and was a runner up in the Wigtown competition for Gaelic poetry. In the same year he was the winner of the Scottish Association of Writers' ' Write Up North!' poetry competition. He was runner up in the same Wigtown competition, again in 2016, going on to win outright in 2017.
Marcas is a Royal National Mòd Gold Medal Finalist and a member of the award-winning Inverness Gaelic Choir, with whom he has performed throughout the UK, at Celtic Connections and as part of Mary Ann Kennedy's 'Aiseag' commission, performed at London's Southbank Centre, Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. A member of the Gaelic male-vocal ensemble Trosg, with whom he has performed throughout Scotland including performances at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Celtic Connections - and even in a boat shed in Raasay. Trosg's début album is expected in 2019 and includes Marcas' Gaelic reworking of the Proclaimer's 'Sunshine on Leith' as well as a host of traditional Scottish and Irish Gaelic songs.
Marcas has written songs with some of the finest musical talent in Gaeldom, including Gillie MacKenzie and Malina MacDonald. Alongside Mary Ann Kennedy he co-wrote Ainneamhag, a brand new choral composition written for Inverness Gaelic Choir and the 2016 Royal National Mòd. Marcas and Mary Ann's song Grioglachan, a tribute to the late Maggie MacDonald, was included on Mary Ann's Blas Festival Commission Beul na h-Oidhche gu Camhanach and on her album An Dàn (Watercolour Music, 2016). The song was the Scottish entry in the Liet International Song Competition, which took place in Kautokeino, Norwegian Samiland, in the same year.
In 2016 Marcas was named New Gaelic Playwright of the year by Comhairle nan Leabhraichean and Playwrights' Studio Scotland. He made his theatrical début as a co-writer of 'Take Me if You Need Me' (Òran Mór, 2012). His two full length plays, 'Tilleadh' and 'Tioradh', are both in development, following his directorial début at Inverness' Eden Court with 'Diuchdadh', a cross art-form production, curated by Trosg. The evening featuring a brand new micro-play, a two-hander written in Gaelic verse, alongside musical performances from Trosg, Siaban, Mary Ann Kennedy and the late Maggie MacDonald, Eilidh MacKenzie and Donaidh and Peigi Barker, Saffron Handvidge and Marloch. Marcas holds an MA in Television Fiction Writing from Glasgow Caledonian University, for which he was awarded the full MG Alba scholarship in 2011. His work for television includes BBC Alba's 'Ceitidh Mòrag'.
Marcas reviews and criticism has graced the Arts and Books pages of Dàna Magazine, Cothrom Ùr Magazine, Bella Caledonia and Scots Whae Hae. He is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Edinburgh's Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies, with research interests in the fields of Scottish and Irish Literature, feminism and post-colonial and queer theory. His doctoral thesis focusses on the Scottish Gaelic poetry of the Twenty-first Century - the first large-scale research to engage with this oeuvre. Marcas is the Gaelic Editor of one of the UK's most exciting poetry periodicals, 'The Poets' Republic', soon to launch its fifth issue. Alongside the magazine's editorial team, Marcas has hosted several critically acclaimed poetry events, including the magazine's Edinburgh début at the Scottish Poetry Library.
Marcas début novel, 'Cuairteagan' was recently commissioned by Acair for their popular 'Aiteal' series. Expected in 2019, Marcas has recently completed a residency at Cove Park, where he worked on the manuscript, supported by Comhairle nan Leabhraichean. .
Marcas' début collection, Deò, was published in 2013 by Grace Note Publications.Details
Words and singing from Marcas. Music and hitting things from Nick Turner Details