Jean Mackie (1908—1991) was the daughter of Aberdeenshire farmer Maitland Mackie, the first of his six children to go to university. She later succeeded in a variety of occupations. She lectured in drama at Newcastle University; she was a pioneering headteacher at St Nicholas Primary, Aberdeen; she was a writer for the Times Educational Supplement and Punch, and a staffer on the Daily Express. Friend to Joan Littlewood, she was involved with Ballet Rambert, and Ballet Russe; she corresponded with Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubenstein.
Jean Mackie dedicated her life to the written, built, painted and acted word. In her sixties and seventies, there was an extraordinary and unexpected outburst of poetry—a set of emotive, personal pieces about being old. Collected under the title A Little Piece of Earth, the work was published privately for family and friends in 1983.
In 2012, A Little Piece of Earth was re-issued by HappenStance Press. The pamphlet collection is presented with a biographical foreword by Jean’s son, writer and broadcaster Charlie Allan, and an insert of poems by Jean's grand-daughter, Susie Malcolm.
A Little Piece of Earth, HappenStance 2012