• Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

A C Clarke


Bidh A C Clarke a' fuireach ann an Glaschu. Dh'fhoillsicheadh an còigeamh co-chruinneachadh aige A Troubling Woman (Oversteps Books) ann an 2017. Bhuannaich i co-fharpais nam pamflaidean aig Cinnamon Press ann an 2017 le War Baby.

Bha Drochaid, sreath dhàn ann an Gàidhlig, Beurla agus Beurla Ghallta, ga sgrìobhadh le Maggie Rabatski agus Sheila Templeton air a foillseachadh an-uiridh. Tha i ag obair an-dràsta air bàrdachd mu Gala Éluard Dalí and a cuideachd. Thèid na ciad dhàin seo fhoillseachadh ann an 2021.

'The arts’ embraces a huge diversity of practice and outcomes in every kind of medium.

Different societies at different times in history have attached different significances to their art and it has played different roles in their lives. A simple example – the magnificent stained glass windows in medieval cathedrals were created as much for the instruction of unlettered congregations as for their aesthetic value. A contemporary artist commissioned to create a stained glass window – David Hockney for instance – will use it as an opportunity to express their particular aesthetic credo, their own (rather than the Church’s) view. But I guess at any time the arts, whatever form they happen to take in a culture, express whether wittingly or not, the essential spirit of that culture. A culture without arts of some kind (no culture yet known to history) would be a robotic sort of culture. The arts are at the core of what makes us human.

If ‘the arts’ is interpreted in the widest sense they are integral to my daily life. I’m a writer so a practitioner of a particular art, but every day, without even thinking about it, I imbibe art whether it’s reading a book (and buying them), listening to music (and buying it), going to poetry readings, visiting art galleries. Why? Because one way or another these things give me great pleasure, enlarge my horizons, raise my spirits.

I write poetry and have done since I was a child. The impulse, which is a very strong one for me, arose from a love of language and in particular of the language and sound patterns of poetry. I definitely didn’t begin to write to articulate anything but my response to words and to the world they describe. When I write now I follow as a rule of thumb that I can only write with any conviction (and therefore with any success) when my imagination and emotions are stirred. I’m sure that is the case with all writers, indeed all artists one way or another. I resist the idea of ‘using’ the arts although they have been used to articulate religious and political beliefs for millennia (witness my remarks on medieval stained glass above). Whatever it is or is nor aiming to articulate art deserving the name must also be truthful (not in any literal but in a profound sense) to the human condition.

An Aghaidh na Stainge

In many ways, there have never been more opportunities for creativity and for finding an audience/readership. The internet has opened opportunities up worldwide and the facility for sharing work on the internet – writing or visual art or music – through blogs and web pages obviates the need to go through more conventional channels if the sole aim of the creative artist is to find a receptive audience. There are many performance opportunities for poets and musicians – open mics, live music in pubs etc. If the aim is critical recognition or indeed to make a living it is no easier than it ever was. Arts funding has replaced the private patron but it is shrinking and is never the first priority of governments. Small presses proliferate – probably more now than at any time in history - as do small art galleries. They also founder with depressing regularity. In the world of writing the rise of creative writing courses has had a big impact on overall standards but it’s debatable whether they have had any indirect benefit for writers unable or unwilling to take them. As poet I do wonder if 24-hour connectivity and the many opportunities for performance work against what to my mind the creative life of a poet essentially requires: sitting at a desk, pen or keyboard to hand, and thinking.

I am trying to keep as far as possible to my usual writing routine and hoping that the extra time afforded by not having events to go to will allow me time to reflect and to work in greater depth on my current projects.


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