A poet in three languages, songwriter in folk and classical idioms, journalist, broadcaster, translator, scriptwriter. A Borders-based Skyeman, poetry has taken him to North America, Japan, the Capitol in Rome, Jerusalem, Berlin, Vienna, Warsaw, St Petersburg, the Arctic Circle, Ireland and other destinations. Has held various literary fellowships, and gained many awards for his writing. Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, he holds an honorary Doctorate of Literature from Glasgow University.
Collections include An Seachnadh, The Avoiding, Oideachadh Ceart, A Proper Schooling, Laoidh an Donais Oig - Hymn to a Young Demon and Rock and Water (poems in English). Has a New and Selected Gaelic poems, Deanamh Gàire ris a Chleoc - Laughing at the Clock, and a pamphlet of poems in Scots, Ayont the Dyke. A new collection of poems in English in preparation. His song lyrics have been set to music by some of Scotland’s leading composers and recorded by many wonderful singers. A collection of his songs should also appear soon.