The current Scots Makar - or Scotland’s National Poet - Jackie Kay has been producing nuanced, compassionate verse for over thirty years. The child of a Nigerian mother, Kay was adopted by a white Scottish couple at an early age, growing up in a household where political activism was prevalent. The issues of cultural identity and social justice that her childhood instilled in her became recurring themes in Kay’s verse. Her first collection of poetry, 1991’s The Adoption Papers, was rooted in personal experience, deploying multiple voices to provide a subtle, rounded view of the adoption system. In addition to scooping multiple awards for her poetry she is also a prize-winning novelist with Trumpet, her fictionalised account of the transgender jazz artist Billy Tipton, winning the 1998 Guardian Fiction Prize.
Featuring a fresh introduction from the acclaimed Scottish poet, Kay’s intimate and lyrical biography of the iconic blues singer remains a masterpiece of life-writing.
Poetry by Jackie Kay
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