Cáit O'Neill McCullagh

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You can find selections of Cáit's writing in these places:

Essays, poems and reviews.

Cáit is a regular contributor to Bella Caledonia  - click for links to her contributions.

Poems published on line

Northwords Now 

The Banyan Review   (including a video of Cáit reading her poem ‘Icarus’ Sister’)

Drawn to the Light

Two poems in Spilling Cocoa over Martin Amis:

Jack Kerouac’s Orange (An Origin Myth)

Cop O the North

Five poems in Lothlorien Poetry Journal

Contributions to published volumes


Cáit has contributed an essay on George Mackay Brown to Beyond the Swelkie

Cáit is the author of  Chapter 4, The construction of belonging and Otherness in Heritage events in Heritage and Festivals in Europe: Performing Identities published in April 2021 by Routledge.

Work by Cáit will be included in Bella Caledonia: An Anthology of Writing from 2007-2021, being published in February 2022.

Cáit can be found on Twitter at @kittyjmac

Cáit O'Neill McCullagh is a stray ethnologist, and a reformed archaeologist and curator. Her migrating parents, having left Ireland, eventually landed Cáit in the Highlands where she has lived across the bridge of two millennia.  At home on the north shore of the Cromarty Firth, Cáit is currently writing about her research with communities in Orkney and Shetland, where, over the past five years, she has lived and worked for extended periods facilitating co-producing new writing, and short films exploring how people living in both island groups are being resourced by their traditions to anticipate and assemble sustainable, richly lived futures.  Before undertaking her research practice, Cáit curated collections with communities in museums throughout the Highlands and Islands, including IMAG, in Inverness and developing the museum and heritage centre with people living in the Isle of Lismore, living in the island herself.  As a community and contract archaeologist she has had the privilege of working on and co-directing excavations in brochs, Bronze Age burial grounds, and Iron Age roundhouses from Birnie to Watten, Applecross to Portmahomack.  She has also worked as a radio broadcaster and a cross community conflict resolution coordinator in West Belfast, prior to the Good Friday Agreement.

Sharing words both of truth and consolation is at the heart of Cáit, and of her writing.  To date she has written academic chapters and articles published in a Routledge book series and in peer reviewed journals.  She also writes for print and online journalism, including a developing series of opinion editorials and cultural reviews for Bella Caledonia. Thrilled to have been invited to contribute an essay on George MacKay Brown to Beyond the Swelkie, (published September 2021), Cáit has felt so privileged to be part of a treasure-kist of new poems and writing from authors throughout Scotland.  It was a gift to be invited to join in celebrating the centenary of a writer whom she counts as having been an immense influence on her ways of seeing the world and writing about it, from her own home patch. She is also delighted to have her work included in Bella Caledonia: An Anthology of Writing from 2007-2021, being published in February 2022.  Described as ‘an anthology of some of the best of Bella’s published work since the launch way back in 2007’, this publication see’s Cáit’s work included alongside writing from Caithness Makar George Gunn, cultural commentator Alan Bisset, and novelist Irvine Welsh.

Cáit began writing poetry in the final weeks of 2020, and has been encouraged by the support of Caithness Makar, and more, George Gunn and fellow members of the Ravenskald Writers’ Workshop, which he teaches.   She is delighted to have had poems published in, Northwords Now, Spilling Cocoa over Martin Amis, Bella Caledonia, Drawn to the Light, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, and to have her poetry and photographic works published in The Banyan Review.

Joint winner of the Boyne Writers’ Festival Poetry Day Ireland 2021 competition, Cáit has added poetry to her ways of staying in touch with family and friends in Ireland, including contributing an invited piece to North Antrim’s Pub Poetry Network’s This is the World exhibition (launched in August 2021), and accepting the invitation to be the featured reader for Limerick’s Lime Square Poets in October 2021.  Having spent many years curating in museums, Cáit is excited that her writing has been becoming an exhibit too, including as part of the Isle Martin Seaweed Festival (September 2021), and Crowvus’ Scottish Book Week Poetry in the High Street project (November 2021).  While she works towards the completion of her thesis in Summer 2022, she continues to be a becoming poet.