Bringing laughter, hope and truth to the party, Scotland’s much- loved Makar or Poet Laureate, story-teller, novelist, playwright and memoirist, Jackie Kay will launch Bantam, her new book of poetry, at FlipSide. At times like these, a good dose of Jackie Kay is just what is needed. Jackie will also announce the winner of the Green Alphabet Writing Prize.
Bantam, the new collection from Jackie Kay, the Scottish Makar, is a collection about the fighting spirit, at a time when we need that spirit more than ever. Bantam brings three generations into sharp focus – Kay’s own, her father’s, and his own father’s – in a book that shows how the body holds its own story: how a shrapnel injury from the First World War can emerge years later; how we bear and absorb the loss of others; how we celebrate and welcome new life; how we how we embody our times, whether we want to or not.
Bantam crosses borders, from Rannoch Moor to the Somme, from Brexit to Bronte country. Who are we? Who might we want to be? These are poems that sing of what connects us and lament what divides us; poems that send daylight into the dark that threatens to overwhelm us – and could not be more necessary to the times in which we live.
Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. THE ADOPTION PAPERS (Bloodaxe) won the Forward Prize, a Saltire prize and a Scottish Arts Council Prize. FIERE, her most recent collection of poems was shortlisted for the COSTA award. Her novel TRUMPET won the Guardian Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the IMPAC award. RED DUST ROAD (Picador) won the Scottish Book of the Year Award, and the LONDON BOOK AWARD. It was shortlisted for the JR ACKERLEY prize. She was awarded an MBE in 2006, and made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002. Her book of stories WISH I WAS HERE won the Decibel British Book Award.
She also writes for children and her book RED CHERRY RED (Bloomsbury) won the CLYPE award. She has written extensively for stage and television. Her most recent plays MANCHESTER LINES (produced by Manchester Library Theatre) and THE NEW MAW BROON MONOLOGUES (produced by Glasgay) were a great success. Her most recent book is a collection of stories, REALITY, REALITY and a new poetry collection, BANTAM, will be published in October 2017. She is currently working on her new novel, BYSTANDER. She is Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.
Jackie Kay was named Scots Makar—the National Poet for Scotland—in March 2016.