Meet the Author

Audrey Nickel is an Irish speaker, teacher, and singer who shares her home in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California with her long-suffering husband (who is gradually picking up Irish in sheer self-defense!), a miniature poodle (who only responds to commands in Irish), two twenty-somethings (who have no interest at all in Irish, but are lovely people nonetheless), four harps, and about 40 tin whistles.

Audrey’s journey with the Irish language began when she worked as a volunteer in the Folklife Festival at Expo ’74 in her hometown of Spokane, Washington. She fell head-over-heels in love with the Irish traditional music that she heard all around her, as well as with American folk music, much of which draws heavily from Irish and Scottish sources. That passion for the music quickly became a passion for all things Irish: history, folklore, literature, and, of course, language.

Learning sources for Irish were rather thin on the ground in Eastern Washington in the 1970s, but with the internet came a world of opportunities. Audrey began studying Irish seriously in 2004, and never misses an opportunity to speak, sing, or listen to it!

In addition to being “The Geeky Gaeilgeoir,” Audrey is the author of “The Irish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook,” which was published in May, 2017, by Bradan Press, Nova Scotia, Canada. For more information on “The Irish Gaelic Tattoo Handbook,” including how to order a copy of your own (or for a friend!), please visit its page at Bradan Press:

13 thoughts on “Meet the Author”

  1. Hi,

    I’m writing a series of stories about a psudo-scotish monarch who’s taken the reign name meaning ‘Sword In Stone’ which I have translated as Clayicloch, and your point about context has me more than worried. Send the correction to ironwood dot edward at gmail dot com.

    Much thanks

    Ed Buchan.


  2. Audrey, I’m so delighted to find your blogsite and this hilarious if slightly sinister post about how Even Racists Get the Blues. My Gaelic is not as good as it should be but I listen to the news on TG4 every night to keep my ear tuned. My brother is a US citizen and lives in Palo Alto. He moved there in the late ’70s to work with Atari and while he lived in SF he taught night classes in Gaelic.


    1. That’s very cool! I wonder if I know your brother…does he ever go to the Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeltachta in SF?

      TG4 is such a wonderful thing (and even better now that they have Irish subtitles available!). I’m a major Ros na Rún addict, myself.

      Glad you’re enjoying the site!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Audrey, I took a Irish speaking class from you and Mary McLaughlin along with a singing in Irish years back. Just returned from a great trip to my family homeplace in Kilrea Northern Ireland. I got to stay in Cushendun where Ardicuan is located. I stumbled across your site and ordered you tatoo book. I did get hung up on the dialect thing. I live in Scotts Valley. Is there any resources in our area to interact with beginning level Irish speakers? I appreciate your passion to keep and kindle the Irish language.


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