Jackie Kay

Standard Name: Kay, Jackie
Birth Name: Jacqueline Margaret Kay
Nickname: Jackie
JK 's poetry, plays, and fiction explore issues of divided, displaced, or mixed identity. Her writings probe and challenge assumptions about race, gender, and sexuality with a mixture of pain and humour. She often draws her inspiration from jazz and blues musicians, particularly Bessie Smith and Billy Tipton . JK has also written a memoir about her search for her birth parents, and several children's books, as well as works for radio drama and performance poetry), opera, and audiocassette.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Liz Lochhead
As well as reading her poetry at festivals and other venues, LL has selected and edited for Mslexia magazine in early 2004 a number of stories and poems on the theme of ice.
Lochhead, Liz. “Ice”. Mslexia, Vol.
, pp. 26-7.
Anthologization Grace Nichols
GN 's poetry has appeared in a number of further anthologies. These include Six Women Poets (1992), edited by Judith Kinsman , which has an introduction by GN . Penguin Modern Poets Volume 8 (1996)...
Dedications Carol Ann Duffy
CAD published The World's Wife, a poetry volume (dedicated to May and Jackie and Ella with love) which had been in prospect since 1994.
Blackwell’s Online Bookshop. http://Bookshop.Blackwell.co.uk.
OCLC WorldCat. http://www.oclc.org/firstsearch/content/worldcat/. Accessed 1999.
Family and Intimate relationships Carol Ann Duffy
CAD met the Scottish poet Jackie Kay , with whom she began a long-term relationship.
Rees-Jones, Deryn. Carol Ann Duffy. Northcote House.
Friends, Associates Ali Smith
Kasia Boddy , an academic collaborator with Smith and Wood, features quite prominently in the introduction to Smith's short-story collection The First Person—fittingly, given her academic specialization in the short story. AS also numbers...
Intertextuality and Influence Carol Ann Duffy
Scottish poet Jackie Kay acknowledges CAD 's help and encouragement in her poetry collection The Adoption Papers, 1991.
Rees-Jones, Deryn. Carol Ann Duffy. Northcote House.
Literary responses Ruth Padel
Her election was marred by unpleasantness. Another of the three short-listed candidates, Caribbean poet Derek Walcott , withdrew from the competition after a letter-writing campaign brought to the attention of potential voters the fact that...
Literary responses Ali Smith
Jackie Kay included Girl Meets Boy in her list of favourite books from 2007. In comparing Smith's version of Iphis and Ianthe with Fleur Adcock 's contribution to Hofmann and Lasdun 's After Ovid: New...
Literary responses Ali Smith
Reviews of Autumn were overwhelmingly positive and generally quite taken with the timeliness of its subject-matter. Joanna Kavenna called it a beautiful, poignant symphony of memories, dreams and transient realities, while Laura Miller observed that...
Performance of text Carol Ann Duffy
On the Shore to Shore Nationwide Poetry Tour in summer 2016 with Gillian Clarke , Imtiaz Dharker , and Jackie Kay , plus other poets who joined in their public readings when the tour stopped...
Residence Carol Ann Duffy
CAD moved to Manchester, to live there with Jackie Kay .
“The Knitting Circle”. London South Bank University: Lesbian and Gay Staff Association.
Textual Features Carol Ann Duffy
The sixty poets were each commissioned for a poem marking a particular year. They included Gillian Clarke (1955: Running Away to the Sea), Ruth Fainlight (1963: World Events), Liz Lochhead (1966: Photograph, Art...
Textual Features Ali Smith
Among the novel's most remarkable scenes is the moment of sexual intercourse between Robin and Anthea. In what Jackie Kay has called the best sex I've read in years, Smith avoids the basic corporeality of...
Textual Features Carol Ann Duffy
She selected slightly more carols by women than by men, and recalled that Christina Rossetti 's In the Bleak Midwinter was the result of a commission from Scribner's Monthly in 1872. Her own contribution concerns...
Textual Features Ali Smith
This volume, themed around eruptions of conflict between lovers, features short-story selections from Jhumpa Lahiri , Jackie Kay , D. H. Lawrence , Katherine Mansfield , Dorothy Parker , and Grace Paley (as in the...


1810: Saartjie Baartman, later known as the Hottentot...

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Saartjie Baartman , later known as the Hottentot Venus, sailed from Cape Town in South Africa for London, where she had been led to believe she could make her fortune by exhibiting herself.

About October 1973: The Women's Theatre Group (still in being...

Women writers item

About October 1973

The Women's Theatre Group (still in being as the Sphinx Theatre Company ) was founded in London as a feminist and socialist theatre group; its twin organization the Women's Theatre Company proved short-lived.

Early 1975: Gay Sweatshop Theatre Company was founded...

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Early 1975

Gay Sweatshop Theatre Company was founded as a result of plans by a London co-operative community arts resource centre, Inter-Action , for a season of gay plays to follow their successful women's season.

26 November 1998: Poems written, read, and discussed by Kathleen...

Women writers item

26 November 1998

Poems written, read, and discussed by Kathleen Jamie , Jackie Kay , and two male poets were issued as number one in the audio-cassette series Poetry Quartets.

Before mid-September 2004: Melanie Abrahams of literary agency Renaissance...

Writing climate item

Before mid-September 2004

Melanie Abrahams of literary agency Renaissance One organised a group photo of people of Afro, Caribbean, or Asian origin who make a significant contribution to contemporary British literature.

June 2006: Picador Books launched a new series, Picador...

Writing climate item

June 2006

Picador Books launched a new series, Picador Shots, of short stories issued as free-standing volumes. One of the first was Jackie Kay 's Sonata, about two strangers talking on a train.

20 June to 7 July 2016: British poets Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke,...

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20 June to 7 July 2016

British poets Carol Ann Duffy , Gillian Clarke , Imtiaz Dharker , and Jackie Kay , and musician John Sampson , went on a Shore to Shore Nationwide Poetry Tour .


Burford, Barbara et al. A Dangerous Knowing: Four Black Women Poets. Sheba Feminist Publishers, 1984.
Kay, Jackie. “A return to grass roots”. The Guardian, pp. Review 4 - 5.
Kay, Jackie. “Afterword to Chiaroscuro”. Lesbian Plays, edited by Jill Davis, Methuen, 1987, pp. 82-3.
Kay, Jackie. Bessie Smith. Absolute, 1997.
Kay, Jackie. “Boke”. Mslexia, No. 79, pp. 46-7.
Kay, Jackie. “Chiaroscuro”. Lesbian Plays, edited by Jill Davis, Methuen, 1987, pp. 57-81.
Kay, Jackie et al. Christian Sanderson: A Poem. Editor Rae, Simon, Clarion, 1996.
Kay, Jackie. Fiere. Pan Macmillan Picador, 2011.
Kay, Jackie. Life Mask. Bloodaxe Books, 2005.
Kay, Jackie. “My other dad is an African prince”. The Observer, pp. New Review 10 - 13.
Kay, Jackie. “New Writing. Women’s Short Story Competition 2011”. Mslexia, No. 49, pp. 27-8.
Kay, Jackie. Off Colour. Bloodaxe Books, 1998.
Kay, Jackie. Other Lovers. Bloodaxe Books, 1993.
Kay, Jackie. “Poems on war: Jackie Kay is inspired by Siegfried Sassoon”. theguardian.com.
Kay, Jackie. “Poets on tour: reeling after the referendum”. theguardian.com.
Kay, Jackie. Red Dust Road. Pan Macmillan, 2010.
Kay, Jackie. “Sailing on Two Boats: Second Generation Perspectives, 1993”. Ethnic Communities Oral History Project: Hammersmith and Fulham Studies Centre, London: Community History Series 11: 2-6, Ethnic Communities Oral History Project, pp. 2-6.
Kay, Jackie. “Short story endings”. Mslexia, Vol.
, pp. 44-5.
Kay, Jackie. That Distance Apart. Turret Books, 1991.
Kay, Jackie. The Adoption Papers. Bloodaxe Books, 1991.
Kay, Jackie, and Sue Williams. The Frog Who Dreamed She Was an Opera Singer. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 1998.
Kay, Jackie. The Lamplighter. Bloodaxe, 2008.
Kay, Jackie. “Threshold”. Scottish Poetry Library.
Kay, Jackie. Trumpet. Picador, 1998.
Kay, Jackie. “Twice Over”. Gay Sweatshop: Four Plays and a Company, edited by Philip Osment, Methuen Drama, 1989, pp. 121-46.