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Jackie Kay - Author

About the Author

Jackie Kay is an award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and plays. Born in Edinburgh to a Scottish mother and Nigerian father, she was adopted as a baby by a white couple. Kay's awareness of her different heritages inspired her first book of poetry, The Adoption Papers, which won the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year and a commendation from the Forward Poetry Prize judges. Subsequent collections have gone on to win numerous awards. In 2006 Jackie was awarded an MBE. In 2007 she picked up the decibel Writer of the Year prize as part of the British Book Awards. Jackie is the current Makar - National Poet for Scotland. She currently lives in Manchester.

Photo credit Denise Else

Featured books by Jackie Kay

Other books by Jackie Kay

The Lamplighter

The Lamplighter

Author: Jackie Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2020

The Lamplighter takes us on a journey through the dark heart of slavery. Produced both as a radio and stage play, it also reads as a stirring and a multi-layered poem. Four women and one man tell the story of their lives through slavery, from the the fort, to the slave ship, through the middle passage, following life on the plantations, charting the growth of the British city and the industrial revolution. The Lamplighter focuses on parts of history other books rarely touch upon, revealing the devastating human cost of slavery for individual people. Constance has had to witness the sale of her own child; Mary has been beaten to an inch of her life; Black Harriot has had to become a high class whore; and our lead, the Lamplighter was sold twice into slavery from the ports in Bristol. All four very different voices tell their story, in a rousing chorus that speaks to the experiences of all those oppressed by the slave trade, lifting in the end to a soaring and rally conclusion. Radical and widely acclaimed when it was first staged, this groundbreaking play from one of our most beloved poets and writers, Jackie Kay, remains as urgent and daring to this day.

Red Dust Road Picador Classic

Red Dust Road Picador Classic

Author: Jackie Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/10/2017

With an introduction by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon 'Like the best memoirs, this one is written with novelistic and poetic flair. Red Dust Road is a fantastic, probing and heart-warming read' Independent From the moment when, as a little girl, she realizes that her skin is a different colour from that of her beloved mum and dad, to the tracing and finding of her birth parents, her Highland mother and Nigerian father, Jackie Kay's journey in Red Dust Road is one of unexpected twists, turns and deep emotions. In a book remarkable for its warmth and candour, she discovers that inheritance is about much more than genes: that we are shaped by songs as much as by cells, and that what triumphs, ultimately, is love.

Bantam

Bantam

Author: Jackie Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/10/2017

Jackie Kay's first collection as Scottish Makar is a book about the fighting spirit - one, the poet argues, that we need now more than ever. Bantam brings three generations into sharp focus - Kay's own, her father's, and his own father's - to show us how the body holds its own story. Kay shows how old injuries can emerge years later; how we bear and absorb the loss of friends; how we celebrate and welcome new life; and how we how we embody our times, whether we want to or not. Bantam crosses borders, from Rannoch Moor to the Somme, from Brexit to Bronte country. Who are we? Who might we want to be? These are poems that sing of what connects us, and lament what divides us; poems that send daylight into the dark that threatens to overwhelm us - and could not be more necessary to the times in which we live.

Bantam

Bantam

Author: Jackie Kay Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/10/2017

Jackie Kay's first collection as Scottish Makar is a book about the fighting spirit - one, the poet argues, that we need now more than ever. Bantam brings three generations into sharp focus - Kay's own, her father's, and his own father's - to show us how the body holds its own story. Kay shows how old injuries can emerge years later; how we bear and absorb the loss of friends; how we celebrate and welcome new life; and how we how we embody our times, whether we want to or not. Bantam crosses borders, from Rannoch Moor to the Somme, from Brexit to Bronte country. Who are we? Who might we want to be? These are poems that sing of what connects us, and lament what divides us; poems that send daylight into the dark that threatens to overwhelm us - and could not be more necessary to the times in which we live.

Refugee Tales

Refugee Tales

Author: Jackie Kay, Olivia Laing, Rachel Holmes, Caroline Bergvall Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/07/2017

Ten Poems of Kindness

Ten Poems of Kindness

Author: Jackie Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2017

Trumpet

Trumpet

Author: Jackie Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/2016

With an introduction by Ali Smith. When the love of your life dies, the problem is not that some part of you dies too, which it does, but that some part of you is still alive. The death of legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody exposes an extraordinary secret. Unbeknown to all but his wife Millie, Joss was a woman living as a man. The discovery is most devastating for their adopted son, Colman, whose bewildered fury brings the press to the doorstep and sends his grieving mother to the sanctuary of a remote Scottish village. Winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize, Trumpet by Jackie Kay is a starkly beautiful modern classic about the lengths to which people will go for love. It is a moving story of a shared life founded on an intricate lie, of loving deception and lasting devotion, and of the intimate workings of the human heart.

Reality, Reality

Reality, Reality

Author: Jackie Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/06/2013

The women of Reality, Reality are mesmerizing, whether in love or in solitude. Full of compassion, generosity, sorrow and joy, their fifteen unforgettable stories explore the power of the imagination to make things real, and celebrate, most of all, those who dare to dream.

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