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Kathleen Jamie

Sunday 24th September, 5.30-6.30pm BST
Main Hall King's Pavilion, King's College Campus University of Aberdeen  

Scotland’s Makar Kathleen Jamie returns to Aberdeen for this headline event of WayWORD 2023. Join Kathleen for an evening of poetry, reading and discussion around the bringing of ‘one word, one sound, against another’. Kathleen will be in conversation with fellow poet, writer, and former Edinburgh Makar, Alan Spence. 

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Kathleen Jamie, Scotland’s Makar since 2021, is a poet and a writer of non-fiction. She has won multiple awards for her many collections of poetry and three collections of prose writings, including a Somerset Maugham Award, a Forward Poetry Prize, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial prize (twice). While these are ‘all wonderful’, Jamie writes, ‘at heart, it’s about the fascination of bringing one word, one sound, against another’. She describes herself as having what Robert Louis Stevenson called ‘a strong Scots accent of the mind’ and writes in response to interests including the natural world (widely defined), archaeology, medical humanities, and art. Surfacing (2019), Jamie’s third collection of non-fiction, includes the extended essay, ‘In Quinhagak’, written from a remote Yup’ik village in Alaska, which provides a connection to the University of Aberdeen’s collections and archaeological work in that area. Writing in The Observer, Alex Preston described Surfacing as ‘astonishing’. Jamie has also recently edited Antlers of Water, Scottish Writing on Nature and the Environment (2021) and co-edited The Golden Treasury of Scottish Verse (2021) with Don Patterson and Peter Mackay. Her Selected Poems was published in 2019.


From one Makar to another… Since the publication of Its Colours They Are Fine (1977), Alan Spence has been a significant presence in Scottish writing, prompting Ali Smith to refer to him as ‘a necessary visionary.’ Spence was Edinburgh Makar from 2017-2021 and has recently published Edinburgh Come Ye All (2022), his collected works from that time.

This event is supported by

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