Living Published Women Poets in the UK
Kathleen Jamie
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Kathleen Jamie poet

Kathleen Jamie was born in Renfrewshire,  Scotland. She currently lives in Fife.


Waterlight: Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2007)

The Tree House (Picador, 2004)

Mr and Mrs Scotland are Dead (Bloodaxe, 2002)

Jizzen (Picador, 1999)

The Queen of Sheba (Bloodaxe, 1994)

The Autonomous Region: Poems and Photographs from Tibet with photographer Sean Mayne Smith (Bloodaxe, 1993)

The Way We Live (Bloodaxe, 1987)

A Flame in Your Heart with Andrew Grieg (Bloodaxe, 1986)

Black Spiders (Salamander Press,1982)

Non Fiction

Findings (Sort of Books, 2005) – essays and observations on Scotland

Among Muslims:Meetings at the Frontiers of Pakistan (2002) – updated reissue of The Golden Peak

The Golden Peak (Virago, 1992)

Kathleen Jamie studied Philosophy at Edinburgh  University. In 1981 she gained an Eric Gregory Award, which she used to travel in the Himalayas. Her first two solo collections Black Spiders and The Way we Live won Scottish Arts Council Book Awards. Mr and Mrs Scotland are Dead was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and Kathleen Jamie has twice been awarded the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for The Queen of Sheba and Jizzen, a Forward  Poetry Prize for Best Single Poem, a Forward Poetry Prize for Best Poetry Collection for The Tree House, a Paul Hamlyn Award and a Creative Scotland Award. The Queen of Sheba won the 1995 Somerset Maugham Award and made the T S Eliot Prize shortlist. Findings was shortlisted for both the Ondaatje Prize (2006) and the Scottish Arts Council 2006 Book of the Year Award.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Literature and in 2010 was appointed Chair of Creative Writing at Stirling  University. Kathleen Jamie also writes for radio and currently lectures in Creative Writing at St Andrews University.

“The creatures and trees of Jamie’s poems sense their vulnerability, we view them not as powerful and unknown but somehow out of place and time. These poems are not celebrations of nature, for it is too fragile and vanishing a thing to be celebrated. These are poems about rarity: the rarity of moments where the human can encounter nature truly as it is. In her poems, Jamie is seeking perfection. There are no wasted words, each poem appears as clearly as it can in as few words as possible. In the poem ‘The Fountain of the Lions’ she describes a poem that might indeed be one of her own: ‘a praise-poem hymns/ the difficult, perfect // system’. But these are not spiritual poems in the way nature poems sometimes are. Jamie is seeking neither God nor ‘one-ness’ with nature, but a way to be with nature, a perfect moment of coexistence,” Polly Clark

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