Gaelic New Writers Awards 2012/13: John Urquhart

John Urquhart

Gaelic New Writers Awards

Rugadh Iain ann an 1966 agus thogadh e sna Hearadh. Tha e air a bhith ag obair ’s còmhnaidh ann an Alba fad a bheatha. Pòsta aig Muireall, tha triùir chloinne aca. Tha Iain air ceum a chosnadh an dà chuid ann an Colaist Ealain Ghlaschu agus ann an Oilthigh Obair Dheathain. Fileanta sa Ghàidhlig o uchd a mhàthar, tha Ie làn de dh’eud airson cainnt a chuideachd. Tha an rosg aige uile sgrìobhte ann an Gàidhlig. Bidh e a’ teagasg Gàidhlig ghnàthasach agus briathrachas Gàidhlig airson Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean, aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – Colaiste Ghàidhlig na h-Alba – san Eilean Sgitheanach.

Nuair a bha e na bhalachan bha e air a chuartachadh le na sgeulachdan os-nàdarra a bhuineadh do bheul-aithris a shluaigh. An-diugh tha miann aige fhèin sgeulachdan a sgrìobhadh san spiorad sin. Ged a sgrìobh e dàn no dhà eadar 1989 is 1993 cha do thòisich e a’ sgrìobhaidh chruthachail dha-rìreabh gu 2011. Gu ruige seo cha robh de mhisneachd aige riamh ach aon phìos de sgrìobhadh tùsail a chur gu foillsichear. Chaidh an dàn sin, M’ Eanchainn a chur an clò le Gairm ann an 1989.

John was born in 1966 and was brought up on the Isle of Harris. He has lived and worked in Scotland all his life. He is happily married to Muriel and they have three children. He has earned degrees from both the Glasgow School of Art and Aberdeen University. As a native Gaelic speaker, John is passionate about promoting his beloved first language. All his prose work is written in his mother-tongue. He also teaches idiomatic Gaelic and Gaelic vocabulary classes for the University of the Highlands and Islands, at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig - Scotland’s Gaelic College - on the Isle of Skye.

As a child John was surrounded by the supernatural tales of his people’s oral tradition. Today, he longs to tell stories in that same spirit. Although he wrote some poetry between 1989 and 1993, he only took up creative writing in earnest in 2011. Up ’til now, John has only ever had the courage to send one piece of original writing to a publisher. That poem, M’ Eanchainn (My Mind), was published by Gairm in 1989.

 

Writing Extract 

Nuair a bha i air socrachadh, chaidh mi thuice is dh’innis mi dhi gun robh teadhair àrsaidh agamsa a chuireadh bacadh air a’ phluitrigeadh aig an fhear bheag.

“Seadh?” arsa ise, gu mì-chinnteach.

Peallaidh!” arsa mise, “Bu chòir dhut Peallaidh a mhaoidheadh air.”

Ann an eachdraidh nan Ceilteach - ann an Alba co-dhiù - b’ e a bh’ ann am Peallaidh achcreutair os-nàdarra mosach ris an canar ùruisg. Agus, b’ e an nì a bha fìor fheumail do mhàthair sam bith a bha ag iarraidh a h-àl a chumail o chunnart bàthaidh, gun robh Peallaidh eagallach seo a’ fuireach ann an sruthan ’s ann an easan. Mar sin, ma bha clann bheaga ag iarraidh am beatha a ghlèidheadh, bha e riatanach dhaibhsan àiteachan boga a sheachnadh.

’S cha b’ e sin a-mhàin, oir bha … agus tha fhathast, barrachd air aon ùruisg ann. Ò tha. Nam measg-san tha caractaran gu math mì-thlachdmhor mar: Peallaidh an Spùit fhèin, Stochdail a’ Chùirt agus Brùnaidh an Easain. Agus chuir bodach as aithne dhòmhsa fìor mhath feadhainn eile riuthasan, mar: Amhasg nan Allt, Gurùcam nan Geodha agus Sgreuch nan Sgeir. Uill, chan urrainn dhut cus ùruisgean iargalta a bhith agad ann an sgìre!

 

Comment

Tha mi thairis air a bhith toilichte gun do choisinn mi duais o Urras Leabhraichean na h-Alba airson sgrìobhadairean ùra. ’S ann a tha mi làn toileachais! Seo a’ chiad fharpais sgrìobhaidh riamh san do ghabh mi pàirt agus mar sin mhisnich seo gu mòr mi. ’S mi a tha fìor thaingeil.

"To say that I’m pleased to win a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award is an understatement. I am delighted! This is the first writing competition I’ve ever entered. So, the boost that winning this award has given me is enormous. I’m truly thankful."