You may have heard of Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet, but how well do you know Màiri Mhòr nan Òran, Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair or Donnchadh Bàn Mac an tSaoir? They are two of the many Scottish Gaelic poets you can learn more about at Oidhche nam Bàrd, the Night of Poets.

Oidhche nam Bàrd is an annual online celebration of Scottish Gaelic poetry and poets past and present. This year ACGA will hold the event on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 2 pm to 4 pm.

Màiri Mhòr nan Òran (1821-1898)

The event will begin with a brief discussion of Gaelic poetry throughout the ages, followed by some examples, shared in Gaelic and with English translations. We’ll cover several historical periods, including the present day.

We’ll then proceed to an open mic format. Bring your own favorite poems or songs to share with the group. We welcome poets, of course! Please register for the event through our events page. This online event is free.

Oidhche nam Bàrd was founded by Gàidhlig Photomac in 2018 as a counterpart to Burns Night and to raise awareness of the contributions of Gaelic poets to Scottish and North American culture (Scottish Gaelic poems have been composed in North America since the 18th century).

The Washington, DC-area Gaelic Learning Community held three live events in Alexandria, Virginia, before the COVID-19 pandemic drove such programs online. ACGA has held the event since 2021.

In recent years, the event has grown. Comunn Ghàidhlig Thoronto has held its own Oidhche nam Bàrd celebration, and last year launched its first Gaelic poetry competition.