A celebration of An Guth

Alan Titley


This essay is both a descriptive and critical review of the poetry journal An Guth, which was published between 2003 and 2012. It was conceived of and edited by the bilingual Irish and Gaelic poet Rody Gorman, who produced seven editions in all. Its purpose was simply to publish poetry in both of those languages along with translations of international works. It was seen as a successor to the journals Innti and Gairm and consequently strengthened the literary links between Ireland and Scotland. The range of poetry it encompassed is closely scrutinised in order to see how this differs, if at all, from the poetry of the previous fifty or so years which had heralded its own revolution. The essay looks at how this journal made a special point of encouraging new talent as well as giving continuing exposure to more established ones in both languages. It is argued that An Guth is therefore not just a publication of worthy works, but also a valuable source for the study of the poetry of the first decade of this century and beyond. A detailed examination is made of some of the variations from edition to edition, revealing the huge catholicity, variety and scope of the poetry. Questions arise as to what this profusion of creativity means and what are its strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the essay addresses the strange lack of critical discussion of contemporary poetry in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, despite that poetry’s undoubted abundance.

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COMHARTaighde is an open access, peer-reviewed scholarly journal in the field of Irish language and literature studies. The full text of the article described on this page is available in the Irish language only. English-language translations of article titles, abstracts and certain metadata are provided in order to enable international scholars to discover research published in COMHARTaighde and to facilitate the indexing of articles in certain academic databases.

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© Comhar Teoranta, 2020.
ISSN: 2009-8626