restricted access Locating Valerie Gillies's The Cream of the Well: A Critical Introduction to the Poems and an Interview with the Poet


This piece provides a critical overview of Valerie Gillies's poetry through the lens of her recent edition of new and selected poems, The Cream of the Well (2014), as well as a reflection on her forty-year career by the poet herself. Both discussions focus on the poet's commitment to Scottish history and landscape but also on the poet's engagement with other cultures, particularly in her new poem sequence, A Year as an American Bird, about her time spent in the Boston area. In these later poems, Gillies explores America as she has Scotland—like an archaeologist, excavating its many layers, burrowing down to the ancient past.