Captivating poet Jackie Kay takes to Braemar stage

Scotland’s former Makar Jackie Kay, the country’s National Poet from 2016-2021, takes to the stage of St Margaret’s Braemar on Sunday, January 23.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 6:38 am
Jackie Kay will take part in the Burns Q&A later this month. (Photo:Denise Else)
Jackie Kay will take part in the Burns Q&A later this month. (Photo:Denise Else)

The ‘in conversation’ event, chaired by renowned singer and broadcaster Fiona Kennedy, will delve into the fascinating life and work of the captivating Scottish poet, playwright and novelist whose works have featured in over thirty literary collections.

Born in Edinburgh in 1961 to a Scottish mother and Nigerian father, Kay was adopted at birth and brought up in Glasgow, studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Stirling University where she read English.

The experience of being adopted and growing up within a white family of communist activists inspired her first collection of poetry, The Adoption Papers (1991).

Fiona Kennedy OBE will chair the event

More recently, her book Red Dust Road won Scottish Book of the Year in 2010, while poetry collection Fiere (2011) was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and Saltire Society Book of the Year.

Jackie Kay has recently concluded her five year term as Makar (the Scottish equivalent of Poet Laureate) and is professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

The Burns weekend event is generously supported by the Fife Arms’ Community Programme.

Fiona Kennedy OBE said: “Jackie Kay is one of the most enthralling writers we have in Scotland right now and it will be an absolute delight to hear her talk about her life and listen to some of her work.

“She has such warmth, humour, an infectious smile and the ability to draw in an entire audience who will no doubt hang on her every word.

“And what a back catalogue we can hope to delve into – over thirty years of published work and Jackie’s sharp, imaginative and witty observations on life and love in poetry, plays and prose.

“On the eve of Burns Night in Braemar – a village steeped in connections from Robert Louis Stevenson to Nan Shepherd – where better to hear from one of Scotland’s living literary greats.”

Jackie Kay speaks to Fiona Kennedy takes place on Sunday, January 23 at 2pm at St Margaret’s Braemar.

Further information and tickets for the afternoon event are available at