Kay, Jackie

(1961- )
   Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, she was adopted by a Glasgow couple who were communists and took their children on anti-apartheid protests and peace rallies. She studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and read English at Stirling University. In 1985, now in London, the Theatre of Black Women commissioned her to write a play; Chiaroscuro was performed in 1986 at the Soho Polytechnic, London. She now lives in Manchester, Lancashire. She has published short stories and novels. Her poetry publications: The Adoption Papers, 1991 (won two awards and a commendation by the Forward Poetry Prize judges in 1992). Other Lovers, 1993 (explores the search for identity grounded in the experience of slavery). Off Color, 1998 (explores themes of sickness, health and disease through personal experience and metaphor). Life Mask, 2005 (poems that show how appearances are deceptive, and how many faces we make up in one face). Some of her poems: "Baby Lazarus," "Bette Davis," "Dance of the Cherry Blossom," "Generations," "Photo in the Locket," "The Waiting Lists," "Twelve Bar Bessie," "What Jenny Knows."
   Sources: A Dangerous Knowing: Four Black Women Poets: Barbara Burford, Gabriela Pearse, Grace Nichols, Jackie Kay. Grace Nichols, ed. Sheba, 1985. British Council Arts (http://www.contemporarywriters.com). Chloe Plus Olivia: An Antholog y of Lesbian Literature from the Seventeenth Century to the Present. Lillian Faderman, ed.Viking Penguin, 1994. Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times. Jo Shapcott and Matthew Sweeney, ed. Faber and Faber, 1996. Knitting Circle, Jackie Kay (http://myweb.lsbu.ac.uk/Kay, Jackiestafflag/jackiekay.html). New Women Poets. Carol Rumens, ed. Bloodaxe Books, 1990. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The New British Poetry, 1968-88. Gillian Allnutt, Fred D'Aguiar and Ken Edwards, eds. Grafton Books, 1989. The New Oxford Book of Children's Verse. Neil Philip, ed. Oxford University Press, 1996. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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