A Celebration of Derick Thomson
Posted on 21 October 2021 in Latest News
The Scottish Poetry Library and Comhairle nan Leabhraichean (the Gaelic Books Council) are celebrating a hundred years since the birth of poet and publisher Derick Thomson with a film in which three renowned scholars discuss his work and legacy.
Thomson was the first Chair of the Gaelic Books Council (then known as an Comann Leabhraichean) when it was founded in 1968. He was also an Honorary President of the Scottish Poetry Library. Through his teaching at Glasgow University, his research on Gaelic poetry and literature, the books and magazines he published through his company Gairm, and his own poetry, he did more than any other person in the latter half of the twentieth century to advance the cause of Gaelic writing and publishing.
In the new film, Dr Anna Frater, Professor Meg Bateman and Dr Petra Poncarová discuss the subjects to which Thomson returned time and again – religion, politics and above all the culture of Lewis and the people he knew there in his youth – and they examine the legacy he left to the generation of poets that followed him. Anna Frater, a student of Thomson’s, recalls how she got her first pieces of poetry published in the periodical Gairm thanks to him. They also highlight the humour that is evident in his poetry, and recite a selection of their favourite poems, chosen from the hundreds of pieces he wrote over more than seventy years.
The conversation is in Gaelic, with subtitles in English. The Gaelic Books Council and the Scottish Poetry Library will also be holding other events to mark Derick Thomson’s centenary before the end of 2021.
The Gaelic Books Council is a registered charity (SC025026) and receives financial support from Creative Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Read Derick Thomson’s poetry: