Dublin delight for Ulster Scots poet Wilson Burgess

Wilson Burgess. (DER1214PG040)
Wilson Burgess. (DER1214PG040)
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Derry based Ulster-Scots wordsmith Wilson Burgess has spoken of his delight after his books joined the works of the Irish literary greats on the shelves of Dublin bookshops.

His 2007 collection ‘Dae Ye See’ - the first collection of poems to be published in Ulster-Scots, ‘Ah Jist Wunner’ (2008) and his ‘Anthology of Ulster-Scots Poetry’ (2013), have been accepted by Dubray Books on Grafton Street and Books Upstairs on College Green while Hodges Figgis, also a well known Dublin book store are currently considering is works.

He said his works had received a warm welcome in the island’s literary capital.

“What I found in Dublin was refreshing, everyone I have spoke with has been so receptive. The Ulster Scots tongue has no political connotations attached - it is absolutely brilliant to have my books being sold there.”

It is the latest in a long line of accolades for the Derry based writer, who cites Seamus Heaney and Patrick Kavanagh among the great influences on his work. In November of last year Wilson performed together with the late Nobel Laureate, duetting on “A Birl for Burns’, the only complete Ulster Scots poem written by Heaney, on BBC’s A Kist O Wurds’

He has read with the Ulster Orchestra, read for and presented his work to President McAleese, won a number of awards, have his works become prescribed reading at Queens Univeristy and been asked to read right across the island.

“I honestly cant believe how far I have come, over the last seven or eight years since I started writing,” he said.

Wilson know turns his attentions to a radio series on the north’s railways, a reading tour for Northern Ireland Libraries, as well marking World War One’s centenary.

He is also working on a poem honouring Rev. James MacGregor, a native of Wilson’s hometown of Aghadowey, who emigrated along with 17 families to Derry, New Hampshire in 1718.