© Eamonn McCabe

Kathleen Jamie


Poet, Essayist & Travel Writer

Kathleen Jamie FRSL is a Scottish poet. Born in Renfrewshire, Jamie is the oldest of three children. Her father was an accountant and her mother worked for a solicitor's office. Jamie grew up in Currie, near Edinburgh and went to Currie High School. She studied philosophy at Edinburgh University and while there her first poems were published in the pamphlet Black Spiders by the independent publisher Tom Fenton (brother of poet James Fenton). It won an Eric Gregory Award and a Scottish Arts Council book award. The Council also gave her a small grant with which she was able to pursue her writing after university and travel, including an extended trip to the Himalayas. 

She has held several writer-in-residence posts, including one at the University of Dundee from 1991 to 1993. Jamie's poetry collection Jizzen (1999) is named for the word for childbed after bearing her own children. It won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial prize and she began teaching at University of St. Andrews. In 2001 she was given a Creative Scotland Award. In 2004 she won the Forward Poetry Prize for poetry for The Tree House and the Scottish Book of the Year Award in 2005. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009.

She now lives in Fife and now holds the chair in creative writing at Stirling University. The collection The Overhaul was published in September 2012. It won the 2012 Costa poetry award. 


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