Peter Mackay

Peter Mackay/Padraig MacAoidh is a native Gaelic speaker born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis. He is a poet, broadcaster, journalist and a lecturer in Literature at the University of St Andrews. He has two collections of poetry, Gu Leòr / Galore (Acair, 2015) and Nàdur De / Some Kind Of (Acair, 2020). He is also the co-editor, with Iain S. MacPherson, of An Leabhar Liath: 500 Years of Gaelic Love and Transgressive Verse. He lives in Edinburgh.

Peter Mackay

Photo: Annette Mueck


Meet the Artist »

Hear Ifor ap Glyn, Peter Mackay, Ciara ní É and Pól Mag Uidhir talk about ‘Bàrd- File – Bardd’

Wed 10 March | 12:30 - 13:00 | Free/Ticketed | StAnza Zoom

Bàrd – File – Bardd »

Showcasing the Welsh, Irish and Scots Gaelic filmpoem project

Sat 6 March - Wed 31 March | (All day) | FREE | StAnza Online

Found in translation: from StAnza to Skopje »

Poetry between between Britain and Macedonia, with Peter Mackay, Tania Hershman, Mitko Gogov and Katica Kulavkova

Tue 9 March | 17:30 - 18:30 | Free/Ticketed | StAnza Zoom



Nuair a thig an là
agus an sneachd na laighe
gus am bi am bearradh uile
fo chathadh ’s mar gum b’ eadh dust 

’s nach fhaic thu fàth do shaothrach
no am beallach fodhad
no lainnir sràidean Ghlaschu
no fiù’s ident

gun lorg no facal sam bith ann
ach raointean geala ’s ceò bàn
a’ mùchadh gach gleann ’s gallan
’s do làmh fhèin air chall san t-sneachd’

’s iad seo a stiùireas tu dhachaigh:
Loch Ceartabhat Loch Marabhat Stein-a-cleit
cleas slugan sluaisreadh allmharach
cloimhdeag leòmag dìdeag


When the day comes
and the snow is lying
until the entire ridge is beneath
a drift, almost a dust,

and you can’t see our own handiwork
or the pass below you
or the glitter of the streets of Glasgow
or even an ident

with no trace or word there
but white meadows and empty mists
suffocating each glen each erratic
and your own hands lost in the snow

it is these that will lead you home:
Loch Ceartabhat Loch Marabhat Stein-a-cleit
sleight-of-hand gullet sluice transmarine
snowflake snowflake snowflake

Peter Mackay

First published by Literature Wales