Peter would welcome applications for PhDs on modern and contemporary poetry, Scottish literature from 1800 to the present day, or Irish literature from 1900 to the present day.



Sùil air an t-Saoghal, co-edited with Niall O’Gallagher, Clò Ostaig, 2013.

Modern Irish and Scottish Poetry, co-edited with Edna Longley and Fran Brearton, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Sorley MacLean, Aberdeen: Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies, 2010.

From Another Island, Clutag Press, 2010.

Academic Essays and Chapters

‘Scottish Love and Erotic Poetry’, in Carla Sassi (ed.) The International Companion to Scottish Poetry. Forthcoming.

‘In and Out of History: Literature in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland’ for ‘Literature in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales [1960-2000]’ in Margaret Connell Szasz (ed.) Nations on the Move: Nationalism and Cultural Renaissance in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Native North America, 1960-2000, SUNY Press. Forthcoming.

 ‘Negotiations of Barbarity, Authenticity and Purity in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Gaelic literature’ in Carla Sassi and Theo Van Heijnsbergen (eds) Within and Without Empire: Scotland Across the (Post)colonial Borderline, Cambridge Scholars. Forthcoming .

‘The Gaelic Tradition’ in Liam McIlvanney and Gerald Carruthers (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Scottish Literature, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

‘Romanticism and Northern Irish Poetry’ in Fran Brearton and Alan Gillis (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry, Oxford University Press, 2012.

 ‘Lost Manuscripts and Reactionary Rustling: Was there a “Radical” Gaelic Poetry 1770-1820?’ in John Kirk et al (eds) United Islands? Multi-Lingual Radical Poetry and Song in Britain and Ireland, 1770–1820, London: Pickering & Chatto, 2012.

‘Deserts and Caves: Irish and Scottish Poetry of the Second World War’ in Peter Mackay, Edna Longley and Fran Brearton (eds) Modern Irish and Scottish Poetry, 2011.

‘’s trom an èire, an Eire, an èirigh, an èirig: Somhairle MacGill-Eain agus Èirinn’ in Wilson McLeod and Emma Dymock (eds) Lainnir a' Bhùirn / The Sparkling Water: Essays on Modern Gaelic Literature, Edinburgh: Dunedin Press, 2011.

Scottish and Irish Second World War Poetry’, UCD Scholarcast series, 2010

 ‘Aonghas MacNeacail’ in Matt McGuire and Colin Nicholson (eds) Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Scottish Poetry, Edinburgh University Press, 2009.

Memory, the Bog, Seamus Heaney’, Ecloga 7, Spring 2009.

‘An Guth and the Leabhar Mòr: dialogues between Scottish Gaelic and Irish poetry’, Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies, vol. 2, 2008.


Reviews and interviews have appeared in the Dublin Review of Books, the Edinburgh Review, Epona, the Herald, the Scottish Review of Books, The Yellow Nib, Zed20

Poems and Short Stories

Peter’s poems and short stories have appeared in An Claigeann aig Damien Hurst (Inbhir Nis: Clàr, 2008), An Guth, Archipelago, Authors and Artists: Windows Publications Introductions,Causeway/Cabhsair, Edinburgh Review, Fras, From the Small Back Room (Belfast: Netherlea, 2008), Gath, Irish Pages, New Writing Scotland, Northwords Now, Oxford Poets 2013, Poetry Proper, Saorsa (Inbhir Nis: Clàr, 2011), These Islands We Sing (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2011), The Yellow Nib and Wordscape Northern Ireland.



Suilairant Saoghal 
Modern Irish and Scottish Poetry 
Sorley MacLean 
From Another Island 
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Dr Peter Mackay

Education and Experience

Originally from the Isle of Lewis, Peter Mackay has an MA from Glasgow University and a PhD from Trinity College, Dublin. He has worked at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, the University of University and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, where he was writer in residence. He has also worked as a Broadcast Journalist and television news producer for the BBC, and written or appeared in various documentaries on radio and television.

Research Interests

Peter has published widely on contemporary poetry, particularly Irish and Scottish poetry. His PhD was on the influence of William Wordsworth on Seamus Heaney, He is the author of a book on the poetry of Sorley MacLean, and has edited collections of essays on modern Irish and Scottish poetry and on Scottish Gaelic literature. Recent essays have been on forms of love poetry, the ‘new nature writing’, poetry of the Second World War and radical 18th century verse; his own poetry has also been published widely in Britain and Ireland. He is currently working on a book on Wordsworth and Heaney, and an anthology of rude and transgressive Scottish Gaelic poetry. 

PhD Supervision

Eadaoin Lynch

Dr Peter Mackay

Contact information

Room: KH 004
Phone: 2657

Consultation hours:
Tuesday 12-1 and 2-3

Research Profile on PURE

School role

Director of Postgraduate Research