(born 1962)

Kathleen Jamie

Skeins o geese write a word
Across the sky. A word
Struck like a gong
Afore I wis born.
('Skeins o geese' from 'The Queen of Sheba')

Kathleen Jamie once commented, 'If I write for anything, it's to bring order out of chaos, but not too much. A wee bit disorder never did any harm.' Born in Renfrewshire in 1962, she grew up in Midlothian and studied Philosophy at Edinburgh University. 'Black Spiders '(1982) was followed by 'A Flame in Your Heart' (1986), a collaboration with Andrew Greig. 'The Golden Peak' (1992) is a challenging travel book about Baltistan that opens up far more than geographical vistas. 'The Way We Live' (1987) included 'Karakoram Highway', poems written in northern Pakistan, a theme continued in 'The Autonomous Region' (1993), in which photographs by Sean Mayne Smith complement her poetic chronicle of their trek to Amdo and Tibet. 'The Queen of Sheba '(1994) is an exhilarating poetic engagement with issues cultural, political and personal. 'Jizzen '(1999) takes as its title an old Scots word for childbed. Kathleen Jamie's poetry is born from a deep sense of mystery and discovery that is integral to her creative process. She has won the Somerset Maughan Award, a Creative Scotland Award and the Geoffrey Faber Award.

Kathleen Jamie

Kathleen Jamie, at her home in Fife, 2001.

© Gordon Wright. For permission to use this image or to order a print or digital copy, email Gordon Wright.