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Marcas Mac an Tuairneir (Mark Spencer Turner) has been a force on the Gaelic and wider-Scottish literary scene for over a decade. He began his literary career with poems first published in Cabhsair / Causeway, going on to see work in New Writing Scotland, Irish Pages, Poetry Scotland, Gutter, and many others. In 2013 he published his first collection, Deò, with Grace Note Publications, going on to see a further three collections in print, and a co-authored pamphlet. His third collection Dùileach (Evertype) was shortlisted for the Derick Thomson prize in 2022. His fourth collection, Polaris was published Leamington Books in 2022 and was shortlisted for the Saltire Society’s Scottish Poetry Book of the Year award in the same year, as well as The Derick Thomson Prize and a Saboteur Award in 2023.


A volume of translations of poetry into Gaelic, ‘Cruinneachadh’, was was published by Drunk Muse Press in 2023. His work has been anthologised widely, most notably in ‘An Leabhar Liath’ and ‘Aiblins’ (Luath Press) and ‘An Ubhal As Àirde (Francis Boutle). Most recently, Marcas has engaged with children's literature, translating two of Lawrence Schimel's Rainbow Books into Gaelic - the first LGBTQ childrens' books to appear in the language. Madainn Mhath! / Oidhche Mhath! is available now from Tippermuir Books.

Marcas has been nominated four times for a National Gaelic Award for his contributions to Gaelic Arts and Education, and his lifelong contribution to Gaelic Arts and Culture was recognised with this award in 2023. Shortlisted for the Wigtown Gaelic Poetry Award four times in six years, he was named the winner in 2017 with ‘Òran na Cille’, which went on to form the basis a ColmCille 1500-funded multi-artform project, including poetry, translation, music, and film, linking Gaelic-speaking communities in Scotland, Ireland, and Man, on 2021. He has also received accolades from The William Blake Society, the Association of Scottish Writers, The Federation of Writers (Scotland), The Baker Prize, and the Highland Literary Salon. His filmpoem ‘An Leabhar II’ was the first and only of its form to be included in the Scottish Poetry Library’s ‘Best Scottish Poems’ in 2021. Marcas was awarded the Lewis and Harris Association Gold Medal for Poetry at the 2023 Royal National Mòd in Paisley. 

The Gaelic Editor of The Poets’ Republic / Poblachd nam Bàrd from its second until its eleventh issue, having nurtured and mentored a host of emergent Gaelic poets in the role, since 2020, Marcas has been the Gaelic Editor of Northwords Now. From 2021 until 2023, Marcas was Chair of the Federation of Writers (Scotland), and has sat on the Executive Board of the Saltire Society and the Board of the Scottish Writers (Centre). He was formerly a board member, and then Gaelic Service Development Officer, at the Scottish Poetry Library. He is currently poet-in-residence at The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel in Edinburgh. 

A Mòd Gold Medal Finalist in 2016 and 2021, Marcas was also a Traditional Gold Medal Finalist in 2019. He has also pioneered the GaelPop genre in Scotland, creating radio-friendly music in the Gaelic language, which speaks to contemporary experience, alongside a host of songwriting and production collaborators. His Creative Scotland-funded début album Speactram established him as a feature of the international music scene, with contemporary Gaelic songwriting referencing the tradition and the bangers of the eighties and nineties, produced by Nick Turner, Adam Holmes, Gary Keane and Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light). His songs have been lauded at consecutive Royal National Mòds and have featured on albums by the likes of Mary Ann Kennedy and Rachel Walker, with whom he regularly collaborates. He was shortlisted for the Gaelic Singer of the Year Award, at the 2022 Scots Trad Music Awards.

Marcas was the recipient of the New Gaelic Playwright Awards from Playwright Studio Scotland and The Gaelic Books Council in 2016 and, under the mentorship of Alison Lang, went on to develop his first full-length play script ‘Turadh’. This script went on to win the Stornoway Gazette Trophy for a new Gaelic play at the Royal National Mòd, the second time Marcas had been the recipient of the award. Marcas theatrical début was in 2011, as a co-writer of ‘Take Me If You Need Me’, staged at Òran Mòr as part of the Pay, Pie and a Pint productions. His directorial début came in 2016 with ‘Diuchdadh’, a multi-artform, Gaelic-medium production showcasing traditional and contemporary music, visual art and his short verse-play of the same name – a two-hander, performed by Aonghas MacLeòid and Catrìona NicNeacail. Marcas other award-winning play if ‘Tilleadh’, written in la ronde structure and set during the First World War, which is yet to be staged, but was also the winner of the Stornoway Gazette Trophy at the Royal National Mòd. 

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