Jim Carruth was born in Johnstone in 1963 and grew up on his parents’ dairy farm. He was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2009 and has been the winner of the James McCash poetry competition, the McLellan Poetry Prize and the Callum Macdonald prize.
His first pamphlet, Bovine Pastoral, came out in 2004 and was followed by four further chapbooks as part of the Haltered Chronicles sequence. Killochries, a verse novella, tracking the relationship of two very different men working a remote sheep farm, was published in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year, the Seamus Heaney Centre For Poetry Prize and the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize for first collection. Far Field, published in 2023 was the final part of the Auchensale Trilogy following on from Black Cart and Bale Fire – which explores the changing rural landscape.
He has always been a champion of poetry. In 2005 he co founded St Mungo’s Mirrorball, a network of Glasgow poets he still chairs today. He has also been an artistic advisor for StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival devising and curating their 100 poets gathering event in 2007. Over the years he has brought forward a series of initiatives to support poets and promote poetry. Some of these include – Clydebuilt a poet apprenticeship scheme running since 2007; Scottish Poetry Slam set up with Robin Cairns in 2008, the Lord Provost’s poetry prize for primary school children running since 2015; William Bonar Poetry Prize set up with Sheila Wakefield in 2021. In 2012 he launched Old Macdonald had a Farm for Africa, a twelve-month initiative with Oxfam which managed through a number of poetry events and other fund raising activities to make enough to pay for animals to stock 28 African farms. In 2014, he was appointed the Poet Laureate of Glasgow.