Kathleen Jamie

Kathleen Jamie is the author of several poetry collections, including The Queen of Sheba, The Tree House and The Overhaul, and three essay collections, Findings, Sightlines and Surfacing. She became the Scots Makar in 2021.

Diary: Stay alive! Stay alive!

Kathleen Jamie, 18 August 2022

Iclimbed​ a low cliff and stationed myself on a bench that overlooked the Firth of Forth. From Kinghorn, the Fife coast and the coast of East Lothian appear to peel away from each other; on the horizon lies the North Sea. There are several islands out in the firth and, as usual, a number of ships were riding at anchor. The ships were connected to the oil industry: the Grangemouth refinery is...

Poem: ‘Tree on the Hill’

Kathleen Jamie, 10 September 2020

Once upon a hill there grew a tree. Because it had been so long honed by the wind,it appeared, like an apostle in a painting, to gesture beyond itself toward some greater glory,in this case the landscape far below.

You could lean against the tree and watch the river become a firth, widening over milesas it prepared to meet the sea. You could watch as it bore away not just the winter’s...

Short Cuts: Queuing for Everest

Kathleen Jamie, 20 June 2019

When​ Chowang Sherpa joined us at Kathmandu airport for the flight to Lukla, he was carrying a flat-screen TV set, still in its box. The TV was on its way to Everest Base Camp. ‘Why?’ we asked.

‘They demand,’ he said simply, meaning his clients. Chowang is the owner of Arun Treks, an expedition and trekking outfitter based in Kathmandu. The short spring climbing...

Diary: At the Links of Noltlant

Kathleen Jamie, 6 October 2016

A tractor​ was lumbering towards me, so I pulled into a passing place. It was silage-cutting time on Westray, one of the most northerly islands of Orkney. The driver waved, but I stayed put after he’d passed. The morning cloud was lifting, and the passing place was on the crest of a hill giving views over much of the island’s north side. A cruise liner was anchored out in...

In Fife

Kathleen Jamie, 23 April 2015

A mile and a half​ from the small town in Fife where I live lies a loch called Lochmill. Half a mile long, it occupies a natural bowl in the Ochil hills, and is orientated almost exactly east-west. On its north and south banks grow sparse hawthorns tufted with lichen and old stunted oaks. At its western end, where the springs that feed the loch rise, Scots pines and larches dominate....

Sperm’s-Eye View

Robert Crawford, 23 February 1995

The family, stuff of novelists as different as Rose Macaulay and James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Lewis Grassic Gibbon, is absent from much great poetry of the early 20th century. T.S....

Read more reviews


James Wood, 5 August 1993

Poetry anthologies are now expected to make holy war; but what to do with The New Poetry, which strives so earnestly to turn its trumpet-majors into angels? The 55 poets collected here are, it...

Read more reviews

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences