Author details

Maoilios M Caimbeul (Myles Campbell)


I’m a Gaelic poet and writer, live in the Isle of Skye and write mostly in Gaelic, although I have published work in English also. Most of my poetry has not been translated into English although some has been widely anthologised bilingually. Before going to Edinburgh University, where I did Celtic, English and History, I was deep-sea sailor, wages clerk and prison officer. After university I trained as a teacher and was a Gaelic teacher for years. In between teaching stints I did quite a lot of writing and earned my living writing educational materials for some years. Later I was a part-time creative writing tutor at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, now part of the University of the Highlands & Islands (UHI). Since I retired from teaching I’ve been busier than ever – writing, translating, proofreading, editing, readings and so on. I don’t believe in ‘retirement’, love work too much and will carry on while I can.

About writer's work

The theme of religious belief, or lack of it, runs through my poetic output since my first Gaelic poetry collection was published in 1980. There are other themes, of course, such as nature, places, love, culture and so on but religion and the interface between science / philosophy and religion is a strand that is persistent. I have always been interested in the roots of Western culture and since converting to Christianity a few years ago I have become more and more interested in the work of the Dutch philospher Herman Dooyeweerd. My new-found faith influences my latest poetry. Another interest throughout the years has been Gaelic culture and education and I have been involved at differents levels with these. I also like doing collaborative work with other writers and artists. Among those I have worked with are: Alec Finlay, Mark Goodwin, Eòghann MacColla, and Diarmuid Johnson.

Some awards, prizes et cetera throughout the years were: 2 Gaelic Books Council poetry 1st awards in the 1980s; Bailtean short-listed for Saltire award, 1987; 3rd prize in a Grampian TV poetry competition; SAC bursary, 1987; 1st in Dunleary Fèile Fìliochta, 1998; Comann na Dràma 1st prize for children’s play Penny agus Tasdan, 1989; An Comunn Gàidhealach, National Mod Bardic Crown, 2002; Runner-up in BBC Radio nan Gàidheal poetry competition, 2005/6; Wigtown Gaelic prize, 2008; GBC grant for children’s novel, 2012; Honorary Bard of Comunn Gàidhlig Inbhir Nis / Gaelic Society of Inverness, 2012; Strokestown International Poetry Competition, 2013, 3rd equal with Gabriel Rosenstock; and Short listed for the Còirneal Ui Nèill poetry competition, 2013.


Websites featuring the author

WebsiteAuthor Blog (English)BBC Index of Poets

Current events and projects

I’m currently working on a new Gaelic collection called Tro Chloich na Sùla (Through the Pupil of the Eye). It includes a series of poems of the same name which look at / comment on paintings by major European artists. I’m also working on a poem sequence with Diarmuid Johnson called Agallamh an Dà Anama (Dialogue of the Two Souls). He writes in Irish, I write in Scottish Gaelic.

Other work

Antholodies (with a substantial inclusion) An Aghaidh na Sìorraidheachd (8 poets) Polygon, 1991; Scotland o Gael an Lawlander (4 poets) Gairm, 1996; An Tuil (20th C. Gaelic verse) Polygon, 1999; (with one or several poems) The Pirate of Torloisg, Am Muileach, 1980; Air Ghleus 1, Acair, 1989; Somhairle, Dàin is Deilbh, Acair, 1991; The Patched Fool, Morning Star, 1991; Twenty of the Best, Galliard, 1990; Bàrdachd na Roinn-Eòrpa, Gairm, 1990; Sruth na Maoile, Canongate/Coiscéim, 1993; Writing the Wind, New Native Press, 1997; Carmichael’s Book, Morning Star, 1997; Another Book to Burn, Bootleg Editions, 1998; Celtic Visions, Black Buzzard Press, VA, USA; Wish I was Here, Pocketbooks, 2000; Atoms of Delight, Pocketbooks, 2000; Words of the West, Ullapool Text Project, 2000, An Leabhar Mòr, PNE, 2002; The EmLit Project, Brunell University, 2003; Scotlands Poets & the Nation, Carcanet/Poetry Library, 2004; An Guth   1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7; Coiscéim, 2003 – 2012; The Little Book of Piping Quotations, Piping Scotland, 2004; 100 Island Poems, Iron Press, 2005; Dreuchd an Fhigheadair, Scottish Poetry Library/Word Festival - The Weaver’s Task: a Gaelic Sampler, Aberdeen, 2007; mesostic interleaved, Edinburgh Univerity/Morning Star, 2009; These Islands we Sing, Birlinn / Polygon, 2011; Dàin do Shomhairle, SPL/CNL, 2011; New Writing Scotland 30, ASLS, 2012.

Magazines/Journals: Gairm (various issues); Lines Review; Cencrastus, Orbis; Poetry Ireland Review; Gairfish; Baragab; An Cànan; New Writing Scotland (various issues); Verse; Celtic Visions; Skye 95; Gath; Northwords Now; Poetry Scotland; Chapman.


Local authority where they are based

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles)

Local authorities where they can work

Argyll and Bute, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Edinburgh, Glasgow, Highland

Age groups

9-12, Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type

Poet, Writer


English, Gaelic

Books written

The Two Sides of the Pass/Dà Thaobh a’ Bhealaich

A unique, fully bilingual poetic dialogue between two poets who literally and figuratively inhabit two sides of a mountain pass.


Selected poetry 1974-2006 including some new poems. Published by Coiscéim, Dublin

Saoghal Ùr

Poems on different topics – birds, faith, places. Including 5 children’s poems

A’ Gabhail Ris (Accepting)

Gaelic poems on different topics – love, faith, philosophy.

A’ Caradh an Rathaid

Gaelic poems on different subjects translated into Irish by Liam Prút. Published: Coiscéim, Dublin


Poems with the unifying symbol of ‘villages’. Gaelic


Gaelic poems on love, language & faith.