Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

Bàrd Beag. Bàrd nan Òran.


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

Faclan is Fuaimean / Words and Sounds

Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

Known primarily to Gaelic readerships as one of the twenty-first century's most dynamic poets, Marcas oeuvre spans several creative and critical genres. With two poetry collections in print, and two more forthcoming, he was the winner of the Wigtown Gaelic Poetry Competition in 2017. With two full-length plays in development, following on from Eden Court's 'Diuchdadh' he was named New Gaelic Playwright of the year in 2016, having won the Stornoway Gazette Trophy for e new Gaelic Play at the Royal National Mòd, Stornoway. A contributor to Dàna, Cothrom Ùr, Bella Caledonia and Scots Whae Hae, he is a fresh new voice in the field of Artistic Criticism. He is a PhD Candidate at the University of Edinburgh's Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies. A member or Trosg and Inverness Gaelic Choir and a Mòd Gold Medal Finalist, he now takes to the stage as a solo artist, having written songs alongside Mary Ann Kennedy, Gillie MacKenzie and Malina MacDonald.


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. .


Debut CD.

Alongside Mary Ann and her husband and music partner Nick Turner, Marcas is set to release his début solo album,Sradag, (Watercolour Music, 2018) a contemporary collection of new Gaelic songs, ground-breaking in its use of pop and electronic genres.Demo mixes will be available here: Buille Brag and Macanta


Marcas' début collection, Deò, was published in 2013 by Grace Note Publications.Details

Debut CD

Words and singing from Marcas. Music and hitting things from Nick Turner Details


Dirty mashup Details

Buille Brag

80's deluxe mega mix on cassette Details

Buille Brag

Video for Buille Brag by Nick Turner featuring Marcas Details

Lus na Tùise

Lus na Tùise, was published in 2016 and a pamphlet as a a pamphlet, Heelstergowdie, for Tapsalteerie's Biggin Brigsseries, containing translations to and from Scots and Gaelic. Details


  • contemporary poetry like Mac an Tuairneir’s, which is so self-consciously infused with life, is of existential importance

    his poetry is powerful and beautifully written.
    he is a great ambassador for the language, showing its relevance and power today, in communicative colourful person and online, proving it’s not just as a heritage asset as is too often assumed

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    Oxonian Review * Transceltic Magazine * Sabotage Reviews.
  • it seems something of a personal mission of Mac an Tuairneir’s to use his poetic talents in experimental and pioneering ways

    first and foremost, Mac an Tuairneir writes to liberate this talented, radical and confident gay poet merits as wide an audience as possible

    tha a’ bhàrdachd soilleir agus beòthail air na duilleagan

    he is simply writing his experience of the world, and the result is at once passionate yet composed, erotic and confident

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    Kaleidoscot * DURA * Northwards Now


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Fort william. PH33 7AH

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