Free public reading by poet and novelist Jackie Kay

Published: 27 January 2009

Poet and novelist Jackie Kay is to give a free public reading at the University of Glasgow.

Poet and novelist Jackie Kay is to give a free public reading at the University of Glasgow at 5.45pm on Tuesday 19 May in Lecture Theatre room T415, 4th Floor, Adam Smith Building (access via Great George Street or University Gardens).

The reading will be preceded at 5pm with a showing of 'Twice through the Heart' from the BBC's Words on Film series.

Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father. She was adopted by a white couple at birth and was brought up in Glasgow, Initially harbouring ambitions to be an actress, she decided to concentrate on writing after Alasdair Gray read her poetry and told her that writing was what she should be doing.  She studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Stirling University, where she read English.

Her first book of poetry, the partially autobiographical The Adoption Papers (1991) won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award. The poems in Other Lovers (1993) explore the role and power of language, inspired and influenced by the history of Afro-Caribbean people.  Other Lovers won the 1994 Somerset Maugham Award.  Off Colour (1998) explores themes of sickness, health and disease through personal experience and metaphor. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies, and she has written widely for stage and television.

Her first novel, Trumpet, published in 1998, was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize. Inspired by the life of musician Billy Tipton, the novel tells the story of Scottish jazz trumpeter Joss Moody whose death revealed that he was, in fact, a woman. Her books, Why Don't You Stop Talking (2002) and Wish I Was Here (2006), are collections of short stories, and she has also published a novel for children, Strawgirl (2002). Her collection of poetry for children, Red, Cherry Red (2007) won the 2008 CLPE Poetry Award.
Her novella, Sonata, was published in 2006; her book of poems Darling: New and Selected Poems in 2007; and her dramatised poem, The Lamplighter, in 2008.
Jackie Kay lives in Manchester. In 2006, she was awarded an MBE for services to literature.

Admission is free to the lecture and all are welcome to attend. A collection towards the Creative Writing Scholarships fund will be held after the event.

Further information:
Martin Shannon, Media Relations Officer
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 330 8593

First published: 27 January 2009

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