I am a poet and non-fiction writer, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
I began writing in my teens, and published my first pamphlet while at university. (Edinburgh, I studied philosophy.) After graduating in 1984 I continued to write and publish, working odd jobs and holding writer-in-residence posts before being appointed a lecturer in creative writing at St Andrews University in 1999. In 2010 Stirling offered me its newly established Chair in Creative Writing. Since then, I've overseen the development of undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD Creative Writing programmes. I am director of the MLitt in Creative Writing.Mine is a part-time contract, and mostly I teach poetry on undergraduate and MA courses, with some excursions into creative non-fiction and Scottish literature. I supervise PhDs and organise literary and artistic events for the public and students. Outwith the university I have given, and continue to give, innumerable readings and workshops in the UK and abroad, at festivals, conferences, book groups etc. As well as my major publications, I contribute to journals and papers such as the Guardian, London Review of Books, and New Statesman. Radio is a favourite medium: over the years many commissioned scripts and poems have featured on BBC Radio 3 and 4. My poems have appeared on the Underground systems of London, New York and Shanghai, and closer to home, a poem of mine was recently chosen by the public to be hand-carved on the great oak beam at Bannockburn.
Seamus Heaney International Poetry Fellow
Seamus Heaney International Poetry Fellow 2019, resident at Queens University Belfast.
Ness Award 2017 Royal Geographical Society The Ness Award 'for outstanding creative writing at the confluence of travel. nature and culture'.
Event / Presentation
British Council Moscow. British Council sponsored visit to Moscow for presentation and discussion of work to students and public. The British Council
Presentations at Maxim Gorki Institute, Moscow Non-Fiction Book Fair, and Dubroluvov Public Library.
Panel discussion and reading of 'The Moth'. BBC Radio 4 appearance 'The Anatomy of Rest'
POetry Reading. Princeton Poetry Festival Princeton University
POetry Reading. Wenlock Poetry Festival
Reading at Poetry Festival
The Tay. 'The River' Talk written and delivered for BBC Radio 4 16 Aug 2016
Fellow of Royal Society Edinburgh Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Poetry is my first love, but I have also gathered a considerable reputation as a non-fiction writer, I strive to develop my work in both those areas. For the last decade I’ve been exploring the human relationship with the natural world, but my interests range through Scottish and women’s issues, as well as natural history, archaeology, and art. To produce work, I’ve walked and sailed many miles, and benefitted from the company and expertise of visual artists, pathologists, curators, ornithologists, and from the company and expertise of other species too, especially birds. In 2012 I published two major works: the non-fiction Sightlines (Sort Of Books) and a collection of poems The Overhaul (Picador). The Overhaul won the Costa Poetry Prize for 2012, Sightlines won the Orion Book Award (USA) and the Burroughs Medal (USA). In 2015 a new collection of poetry, 'The Bonniest Companie' won the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. My 'Selected Poems' appeared in 2018, and a new non-fiction title, 'Surfacing' will appear in 2019. I am now in the inevitable ‘fallow’ time, while assisting with translations of my poetry and prose into Italian, French, Spanish and Estonian.
McCall Smith A, Moffat A, Crawford J, Robertson J & Jamie K (2017) Who Built Scotland: A History of the Nation in Twenty-Five Buildings. HES Edinburgh: Historic Environment Scotland. https://shop.historic-scotland.gov.uk/who-built-scotland-pre-order
Jamie K (2015) The White Road by Edmund de Waal review - incidents, marvels and misery. Review of: The White Road: a pilgrimage of sorts, Edmund de Waal, London, Chatto & Windus, 2015, 416pp. ISBN 978-0701187705. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/oct/01/white-road-edmund-de-waal-review-porcelain
Jamie K (2015) Sonia Delaunay: the avant-garde queen of loud, wearable art. The Guardian. 27.03.2015. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/mar/27/sonia-delaunay-avant-garde-queen-art-fashion-vibrant-tate-modern
Jamie K (2013) The Exploding Harpoon. Review of: The Sea Inside by Philip Hoare, London: Fourth Estate, 2013, 374pp, ISBN 978 0 00 741211 2. London Review of Books, 35 (15), p. 40. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n15/kathleen-jamie/the-exploding-harpoon