Esther Jansma was born in 1958 in Amsterdam, and now lives in Utrecht. She studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, obtaining her doctorate for research in dendrochronology. She works as an archaeologist, and is currently senior researcher at Dutch Heritage. She holds a Chair in Dendrochronology at Utrecht University. She has won several awards for her poetry, and has read her work at many international festivals. In 2004 she took part in the Writing on the Wall project, a five-year international programme involving writers from the north of England, Scotland and countries which originally garrisoned Hadrian’s Wall. What It Is (Bloodaxe Books, 2008) is the first English translation of her work, drawing on all the collections she has published in the Netherlands and including poems inspired by parts of the Wall where Friesian and Schelt Auxiliaries were stationed.