The second Irish writer named for Other Words

05Sep

Foras na Gaeilge is delighted to announce that they have selected Cathal Poirtéir to spend time in Slovenia as part of the Other Words project  in October and November 2016.  Cathal will be based in Maribor, and he will focus on his own writing, keeping a blog and participating in events connected with minority languages, especially Slovenian, while he is there.

Radio listeners in Ireland know Cathal as a historian, folklorist and man of literature. For years he has been producing and presenting programmes in Irish and in English on RTÉ Radio 1 and Raidió na Gaeltachta which draw attention to the Irish language heritage and to modern literature.

He is a writer in his own right also. Before he started on the RTÉ permanent staff thirty years ago he had the Oireachtas prize for a stage play, a radio rearrangement of a literary work, and he had written television scripts for young people. Tonnchrith Inntine, one of his poetry collections, was published along with other works in poetry and Irish language magazines.

Cathal continued with writing and literary editing while in RTÉ and there was great acclaim for The Great Irish Famine (Thomas Davis Lectures). He was editor of Gnéithe den Ghorta, Famine Echoes, Glórtha ón Ghorta, Éigse an Aeir and Scéalta san Aer, as well as the cds Blasket Island Reflections, Traditional Tales of Wonder and The Appeals of the Midnight Court (as part of the double cd Cúirt an Mheáin Oíche).

As a result of his research on the famine he was invited to give talks on famine folklore in Ireland, the United States, Canada, France and the Netherlands.

He is active in Irish language literature circles as founding Chairperson of the Alliance of Irish Language Writers, as co-editor of Irish Imram, as Irish language advisor of Books Ireland, and as an independent producer at literary events for the Irish language literature festival Imram. At present he is writing scripts for Ros na Rún on TG4 and a radio drama for Raidió na Life.

Among the prizes he has been awarded are the Oireachtas na Gaeilge first prize for Communication, the Gold and Silver Awards in the PPI National Media Awards and the Bord na Gaeilge Alumni Gold Medal, University College Dublin. He has a BA and an MA from UCD and the results of his research in folklore have been published as Micí Sheáin Néill, Scéalaí agus Scéalta.

Cathal  is the second Irish writer to be chosen by Foras na Gaeilge for the international writing project Other Words for the Autumn residency. Other Words is a partnership programme between cultural organisations throughout Europe which aims to establish a network of creative placements for European writers in smaller and minority languages.

Further information is available at www.focaileile.ie and focaileile@forasnagaeilge.ie

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