Jay Whittaker

Jay Whittaker grew up in Devon and Nottingham, and has lived and worked in Edinburgh for over twenty years. For most of her adult life she has written poetry. Her themes are transition, resilience, grief, cancer, and LGBT+ lives (including her own). Her poems have been published by the Scottish Poetry Library, Envoi, Orbis, Frogmore Papers, Brittle Star, The Interpreter’s House, Northwords Now and The Fenland Reed. She was shortlisted for a Scottish New Writers 2016 Award and the 2016 Bridport Poetry Prize. A member of Edinburgh’s The Other Writers group, she enjoys making the most of the city’s literary and spoken word scene.


Photo: Rachel Hein


Border Crossings »

Reading: Doris Kareva, Jay Whittaker

Fri 9 March | 11:30 - 12:30 | £4.50/£3.50 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Supper Room



Day 365 after first chemo infusion

Twelve months since the first dose
cold-scorched up my arm
a vein at my wrist still bulges
slug-plump, keeping Kairos time. 

Shriven by cytotoxins
spring-heeled, today
I could vault the trees.
My dog pelts towards me,

effortless greyhound ecstasy.
Looping, loosening,
and catching his joy, I sprint
because I can.

Jay Whittaker

From Wristwatch (Cinnamon Press, 2017)