May Day (Paperback)
  • May Day (Paperback)
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May Day (Paperback)

(author)
£10.99
Paperback 96 Pages
Published: 25/04/2024
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

The former Scottish Makar frames a lifetime of activism through the prism of her poetic gift in this panoramic and yet profoundly intimate collection.

May Day is the long-awaited new poetry collection from one of our best-loved poets and former Makar of Scotland, Jackie Kay.

These poems cast an eye over several decades of political activism, from the international solidarity of the Glasgow of Kay’s childhood, accompanying her parents’ Socialist campaigns, through the feminist, LGBT+ and anti-racist movements of the 80s and 90s, up to the present day when a global pandemic intersects with the urgency of Black Lives Matter.

Kay brings to life a cast of influential figures, delving beneath the surfaces of received narratives: the Jamaican model Fanny Eaton, muse of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in England; Paul Robeson, Angela Davis and the poet Audre Lorde; and a ‘what-if’ poem concerning Rabbie Burns and a road-not-taken towards the West Indian slave trade. Woven through the collection is a suite of lyric poems concerning the recent losses of Kay’s parents: poems of grief and profound change that are infused with the light of love and celebration.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509864836
Number of pages: 96
Weight: 156 g
Dimensions: 196 x 154 x 9 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

At the core of this vital and wonderful book are Jackie’s activist parents, and the book is filled with marches, demos, protests, dreams of Peggy Seeger and memories of Hugh MacDiarmid pushing a pram. Here’s a beautiful writer at the top of her game and if I ran Britain I would give out copies on the NHS. It’s a sublime, joyous, pot-banging volume of genius - Andrew O'Hagan, author of Mayflies and Caledonian Road, Guardian

Jackie Kay is a distinctively Scottish voice in British poetry. In her new collection, May Day, accessible and gratifying, the personal and the political are seamlessly interwoven. - Linton Kwesi Johnson, dub poet, activist and author of Mi Revalueshanary Fren and Time Come

Jackie Kay is the people‘s poet because she puts language where it starts - in our mouths, and holds it where it belongs - in our hearts - Jeanette Winterson, author of Frankissstein and Oranges Are not the Only Fruit

What a timely reminder, as our right to peaceful protest is under threat, of the sense of community that comes from raising our voices together against war, injustice and oppression, of the power of protest, and of the joy of resistance. And threading these poems together, as always in Jackie's work, is love. Love of family, of friends and lovers, of art & music, of nature, of words, love for the world. This book made me want to fight harder, shout louder, stand taller and love better. - Julie Hesmondhalgh, actress and star of Coronation Street, Happy Valley and Broadchurch

May Day is a page-turner. This collection presents her signature mixture of close-up scrutiny and wide coverage of past and present, short and long, personal and political, colloquial and literary, humorous and outrageous . . . May Day is a banquet, with interesting company on your left and right, especially the left. Dozens of dog-eared pages await my next return – most likely tomorrow. - Peggy Seeger

Jackie’s poetry exudes warmth and generosity, while simultaneously inclined towards poetry as an ethical undertaking, something that impels the spirit while protective of the vulnerable. Jackie’s direct style has always tugged at the heart and soul, and the ethical mind of her readers . . . the most forgiving of analytical songsters currently at work. - Fred D'Aguiar, poet and author of Letters to America and For the Unnamed

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