Deborah Moffatt

Deborah Moffatt is from Vermont and settled in Fife in 1982, after several years of working in Latin America. She writes in Gaelic and English, and has published collections of poetry in both languages, including Eating Thistles (Smokestack Books, 2018) and Dàin nan Dùil (CLÀR, 2018). Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies, including Poems of the Decade (Faber, 2011). She has won a number of prizes for her poetry, and has twice won both the Wigtown Poetry Competition (Gaelic section) and the MacDonald of Sleat Poetry Prize. She has also worked as a journalist, a dancer and a musician.   

Deborah Moffatt


Inspire Session »

A brief session to spark your own creativity, with Deborah Moffat

Sun 7 March | 12:00 - 12:10 | FREE | StAnza Online



Bidh na mairbh a’ bruidhinn san oidhche
’s mi gan cluinntinn – thu, mo rùin,
a’ tadhal air mo mhàthair,

cofaidh ’s toitean sa chidsin, còmhradh beòthail,
mu phoileataigs agus litreachas agus ceòl,
Marx agus Shakepeare agus Bach,

i furanach, fialaidh, thu dàna, cinnteach;
seòrsa rèite, bhiodh e, ach air beag stà,
i marbh fad bhlianaichean air ais,

thu fada bhuam ann an eilean do-ruigsinn,   
mise do-fhurtachd nam leabaidh luim, 
ag èisteachd ri gliocas nam marbh. 


The Conversation

In my dreams last night I heard
the dead talking – you, my love,
visiting my mother,

conversing in the kitchen, over coffee
and cigarettes, about politics, books, music,
Marx and Shakespeare and Bach,

my mother generous and hospitable,
you bold, confident, a settlement, of sorts,
in the making, needlessly,

my mother long dead, you miles away
on an inaccessible island, lost
to me forever. 

Deborah Moffat, tr. by the author