Jackie Kay

An evening with Jackie Kay

Friday 16th September 2016

Jackie Kay
Trumpet, Jackie Kay

We are delighted to welcome back to the Festival one of our most treasured poets, playwright and author. Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Glasgow and earlier this year was named the Scottish Makar, the National Poet for the country. Her many collections of award-winning poetry include The Adoption Papers, Other Lovers, Off Colour, Life Mask, Fiere and The Empathetic Store. She’s published three collections of short stories and the memoir Red Dust Road.

Whilst each of her books takes the reader down a different path, Jackie often returns to notions of identity, love, loss, home, politics, truth and transformation in her work. A born storyteller and entertaining live performer, she believes words have the power to educate and enlighten people. ‘Poetry makes things happen. A poem or a novel or a painting, if it can find its time, its moment, can completely change the way things are seen… Art is always finding new answers, new questions.’

Originally published in 1998, Jackie’s debut novel Trumpet was a groundbreaking tale of love, loss and family inspired by transgender musician Billy Tipton. Winner of the Guardian Fiction Award, it was also a swan song to the world of jazz and blues. In her introduction to the recent Picador Classic edition, Ali Smith champions: “This fiercely pioneering work makes the walls come tumbling down. In a love song to our human versatilities, a uniting of many voices into an unprecedented and forgiving set of harmonies, a jazzy call to action, it trumpets subtlety, imagination, generosity, life-force, to the rooftops. You’ve got to be born, with voice like this.”

Join us for this special in conversation where Jackie will read and discuss her work with Observer writer Rachel Cooke.