Jackie Kay

Connections and Reconnections

Thursday 27th August

12 noon

In her final year as Makar, Scotland’s poet laureate Jackie Kay opens our festival with some reflections on the principal themes for this year’s events: making new connections and renewing existing ones. There are lessons to be learnt from the lockdown, a period which has seen an explosion of online cultural engagement as well as movement for social change prompted by the Black Lives Matter protests and questions that are being asked of governments in the wake of the pandemic. With a dose of wisdom and humour, Jackie connects it all together for us.

How to watch this event

This event starts at 12 noon on Thursday 27th August. To watch the event just visit this page at the start time and you'll be able to watch the event for free.


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We are paying all of our contributors, so although the events are free we do still have costs. All donations, however small, are very gratefully received and will support our authors and our festival during a difficult time.

About the speaker

Poet and novelist Jackie Kay is the third modern Scots Makar, or national poet of Scotland. A favourite of our 2019 festival, Jackie’s poetry, which deals candidly with issues of identity, race, nationality, gender and sexuality, has won multiple awards and she also writes extensively for the stage. Born in Edinburgh, in 1961, to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, Jackie was adopted as a baby by a white Scottish couple and grew up in Bishopbriggs, a suburb of Glasgow. Jackie’s memoir, Red Dust Road, is an account of her search for her biological parents, who had met each other when her father was a student at Aberdeen University and her mother was a nurse. The book was recently adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta and premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival last year. Jackie now lives in Manchester and is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. In 2006, she was awarded an MBE for services to literature. In 2014 she was appointed Chancellor of the University of Salford, where she has been the University ‘Writer in Residence’ since 2015.

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