Garry Mackenzie – From Ben Dorain: A Conversation with a Mountain

Duncan Bàn Macintyre’s In Praise of Ben Dorain is an eighteenth-century Gaelic poem about a West Highland mountain and its herd of red deer. The work below combines an original translation of Macintyre’s poem, on the left of the page, with new material on the right, to form a conversation between the 250-year-old poem and the modern world. Parts one and seven, out of eight, are presented here.

An article about the translation process is online in Humanitiesand part three is published online in The Clearing 

GARRY MACKENZIE is a poet and non-fiction writer from Fife. His poetry has won awards including the Wigtown Poetry Competition, the Robert McLellan Award and a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. A section of Ben Dorain will be published in 2020 in Antlers of
Water, an anthology of Scottish nature writing edited by Kathleen Jamie. He teaches literature and creative writing courses for the University of St Andrews and the University for the Creative Arts. His book Scotland: A Literary Guide for Travellers is published by Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris. Find him at

Click here to read the poem: Garry MacKenzie – Ben Dorain-A conversation with a mountain

All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet.


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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is an online journal which publishes critical reviews, essays and interviews as well as writing on translation. We accept work in any of the languages of Scotland – English, Gàidhlig and Scots.

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