(1961 - living) U.K.
Poet, playwright and novelist
Kay was born in Edinburg; her mother was Scottish and her father was Nigerian. She was adopted by a white couple and brought up in Glasgow. Her adopted parents were communists who took their children on anti-apartheid protests and peace rallies. She studied English at Stirling University.
She left Scotland partly because of her feeling that it lacked multi-cultural harmony and she wanted a more accepting environment for her son, Matthew, who was born in 1988. She moved to London and took various jobs including cleaning and hospital portering. Jackie Kay lives in Manchester with another poet, Carol Ann Duffy.
Following two collections of poetry, The Adoption Papers (1991) and Other Lovers (1993), both of which won literary prizes, Kay published her first novel Trumpet in 1998. Kay has also written a biographical account on the life of Bessie Smith (1997) as well as children's books.