Raised in Perthshire, a hereditary custodian of the oral tradition, veteran teller of traditional tales, declaimer of verse, and singer of songs since 1988 (see Storytelling Topics and Testimonies links below), Paraig MacNeil is also a bard in all of Scotland’s languages.
About writer's work
From his modern Scots epic Scotland the Brain (formerly Brainheart), extolling Scotland’s heroes of innovation, to the epic in English, about Stirling Castle's makars and monarchs, The Broach the Yarn and the Unicorn), to the epic rendering in Scots and English De Moray and 2 anthologies, Gaelic Bard to Clan Gregor Society, as well as being joint-winner of the Burnsong song writing competition 2007, Paraig has composed and published well over 11,000 lines of original verse and song, on most topics, and in most styles, fired with a passion to seek out Scotland’s heroes of virtue and extol them.
His latest original epic work is his companion poem De Moray, which is written in medieval Scots with a rhyming rendering in modern English and appendixes. This work is on the life and times of Sir Andrew de Moray, hero of the Wars of Scottish Independence.
Besides his epic works, Paraig’s other original verse has been published in periodicals such as Chapman, Poetry Scotland, Clan Gregor Newsletter, The Stirling Makar website and the media.
His creative writing is heavily influenced by a remote military immersion, a passion for ancient writ, pride in ancestry, heart for attachment, and a soul for honour, expressed through his passion for folklore, traditional song, riddle, rhyme, proverb and Celtic customs. An established authority on old Highland Dress, as a spinner o’ yarns and weaver o’ words, he wefts and warps his home-spun yarn into the web of the story the champions of brain and heart, both ancient and modern, who have left their fingerprints on the story of the nation that changed the world, Scotland.
Websites featuring the authorScots Bardwww.luath.co.uk/acatalog/Brainheart.htmlwww.scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk/directory/Tellerview.asp?key=60www.equity.org.uk/Marbhrann do’n t-AilpineachJune poem of the month: PineMay poem of the month: Till Daith tae Pairt
Current events and projects
He mostly performs his own in both verse work from memory, often combined with traditional material according to the topic sought augmented by reflective traditional verse and root-tale. This mostly takes place in schools, project events and festivals.
Apart from performing in schools and other events he is presently working on an anthology verse of Stirling, both traditional and contemporary.
Associated media and resources