Cáit O'Neill McCullagh

Turning Sunwise Final Image March 2022.jpg

Turning Sunwise was first published by Poets Republic in In War & Peace, Poets Respond  (March 2022)

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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


Poems in Spilling Cocoa over Martin Amis:

     Jack Kerouac’s Orange (An Origin Myth)

    Cop O the North

    A Last Will for your Detriment

Poems in Lothlorien Poetry Journal

    Five poems  Kin, Migrant, Strata, Before the

    rain (Petrichor), Litanies

    Hope is being born: A Solstice Nativity

Crow of Minerva


    Two poems   Tethered,   Whale: A Planet Dream

Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art and Words


Poet's Republic  In War and Peace

     Turning Sunwise is on this page


Contributions to published volumes


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

Cáit is the co-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.

Six poems by Cáit appear in the Lothlorien Poetry Journal Volume 7 Beat Café  November-December 2021 pp16-23 (6 poems: Kin, Migrant, Strata, Before the Rain, Litanies, Hope is Being Born – A Solstice Nativity.)

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 works as an ethnologist, archaeologist and curator.  Originally from Ireland,  Cáit has lived in the Highlands since she was a teenager.   In her home on the north shore of the Cromarty Firth, Cáit  is  writing about her research with communities in Orkney and Shetland, where, since 2016 she lived and worked for extended periods co-producing new writing, and short films with communities exploring how  living in islands supports people to renovate and renew traditional knowledges and practices for assembling sustainable, richly lived futures.

Cáit has curated collections with communities in museums throughout the Highlands and Islands, including IMAG in Inverness, and has coordinating the development of the museum and heritage centre in the Isle of Lismore.

As a community archaeologist she has had the privilege of  excavating 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, contributing to the many foundations that facilitated the Good Friday Agreement at the end of the last century.

Sharing words both of truth and consolation is at the heart of Cáit’s way of living, and so is also central to  her purpose in writing.  To date she has written academic chapters and articles and has been published in diverse book series and peer reviewed journals.  She also writes for print and online journalism, including a developing series of opinion editorials and cultural reviews for Bella Caledonia.

Cáit 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 sees Cáit’s work included alongside writing from Caithness Makar George Gunn, cultural commentator Alan Bisset, Scotland’s Makar, Kathleen Jamie, and novelist Irvine Welsh.

Thrilled to have been invited to contribute an essay on George MacKay Brown to Beyond the Swelkie, (published September 2021), Cáit  felt this opportunity to be a reflection of the privilege of having been welcomed into the kist of contemporary poetry and writing concerned with the same that continues to radiate  throughout Scotland.

Cáit began writing her own poetry in the final weeks of 2020, and has been encouraged by the support of Caithness Makar, George Gunn and fellow members of the Ravenskald Writers’ Workshop, which he teaches, as well as her fellow workshoppers in Irish poet Kevin Higgins exceptional online workshops and her companions in the Lime Square Poets community, based in ‘virtual Limerick’.  

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, Crow of Minerva, Visual Verse, The Poets Republic, Poetry Scotland, and to have her poetry and photographic works published in The Banyan Review.  She has also had work accepted for the Irish Anthology Not The Time To Be Silent (forthcoming 2022).

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 accepting the invitation to be the featured reader for Limerick’s Lime Square Poets in October 2022, and contributing an invited piece to North Antrim’s Pub Poetry Network’s This is the World exhibition (launched in August 2021),  also becoming exhibitable  She has also enjoyed having her poetry exhibited  during the Isle Martin Seaweed Festival (September 2021), and Crowvus’ Scottish Book Week Poetry in the High Street project (November 2021).  In the first quarter of 2022 Cáit has had two poems longlisted for Galway’s Cúirt International Festival of Literature Poems for Patience competition.  She has also been delighted to make the longlist for the Scottish Poetry Library’s Roddy Lumsden Memorial Mentorship programme.

A Co-Director of The Wee Gaitherin, a community-centred organisation dedicated to promoting contemporary poetry in all the languages shared by people in Scotland today, and facilitating an newly flourishing annual festival in Stonehaven, Cáit is excited to be able to contribute to developing the democracy of poetry as an opportunity for expressing the lives and livings of all folk.  Still with much to learn, and as she works towards the completion of her thesis  she continues to be delighted by the opportunity to  be a ‘becoming poet’.

More about Cáit at her Lime Square Poets page.