Information about the poet.
The Overhaul is Kathleen Jamie’s first collection since the award-winning The Tree House, and it broadens her poetic range considerably. The Overhaul continues Jamie’s lyric enquiry into the aspects of the world our rushing lives elide, and even threaten. Whether she is addressing birds or rivers, or the need to accept loss, or sometimes, the desire to escape our own lives, her work is earthy and rigorous, her language at once elemental and tender. As an essayist, she has frequently queried our human presence in the world with the question ‘How are we to live?’ Here, this is answered more personally than ever. The Overhaul is a mid-life book of repair, restitution, and ultimately hope—of the wisest and most worldly kind.
For several years now, Kathleen Jamie’s work has addressed two principal concerns: how we negotiate with the natural world, and how we should define our conduct within family and society. In The Tree House Jamie argues—as Burns did before her—for an engagement of the whole being through a kind of practical earthly spirituality. These often startling encounters with animals, birds, and other humans propose a way of living which recognizes the earth as home to many different consciousnesses—and a means of authentic engagement with ‘this, the only world’. Together they form one of the most powerful poetic statements of recent years.
Scottish writer Kathleen Jamie is one of Britain’s leading poets. Her work is intelligent and subtle, her language inventive and refreshing. This selection reveals the generous range of her concerns, from life in the wilder parts of Pakistan and Tibet to the “difficult questions” of identity posed in her celebrated collection, The Queen of Sheba.