Gearóid Mac Lochlainn
b. Belfast; issued Struth Teangacha/Stream of Tongues (2002), published with a CD version; winner of the Michael Hartnett Award, The Irish American Cultural Institute Butler Award and The Open House Festival Literature Award; translated into Romanian.
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Struth Teangacha/Stream of Tongues, intro. by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
(Cló Iar-Chonnachta 2002) [with CD].
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Fred Johnston, review of Sruth Teangacha/Stream
of Tongues, in Books Ireland (Oct. 2002), p.247; quotes introduction
by Nuala Ní Dhomnhnaill: the language he uses is a natural
extension of the fragmented, shrapnel-strewn quality of life as he has
lived it; a creole or macaronic language, and remarks: Ní
Dhomnhnaill sees Mac Lochlainn as a sort of exotic cultural cross-breed
singing from the bayous of Belfast. She does not appear to understand,
and certainly does not mention, that Irish - or even Creole - has never
been native to Belfast and that it has been resurrected there [...] more
as a political than a cultural tool in the past thirty-odd years.
Further, Ní Dhomnhnaill compounds further this fracture of
understanding by remarking that he writes in a language which
is not fashionable or profitable, when in fact Irish has never been
more so each way, and the opportunities for publication and recognition
have never been more numerous [...; &c.] Johnston calls her
contribution this Real McCoy introduction but adds in parenthesis
that he does not mean to accuse MacLochlainn of a political motive in
publishing in Irish.
Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill (adjudicating the Rupert & Eithne Strong Award, of the Dún Laoghaire Annual Poetry Now Fest., 2003): Gearóid MacLochlainn is a genuine new and extraordinary phenomenon on the Irish Language scene. Through two earlier collections he has experimented ; sometimes a little tiresomely, sometimes in downright bad Irish ; but in this his third collection in Irish, he has got the voice dead-on. It is a totally new voice in the language. It is Gaeilge as she is spoken in Béal Feirste, including intrusions from English; the dreaded bearlachas; sometimes to the point of pidgin and leavened at all times with a fair smattering of Jailtacht argot. All in all, it is sensational, copious proof, if proof were needed, that Irish is alive and kicking and living in Belfast. (Go online.)
Cló Iar-Chonnachta (publishers notice, 2002) calls Struth Teangacha/Stream of Tongues a Belfast collection of poetry combining influence and style of Ramblin Jack Eliot, Leonard Cohen and Billie Holiday.