Jackie Kay(1961-), Poet, novelist and makar (Scottish Poet Laureate)
Sitter in 2 portraits
Born in Edinburgh to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, Kay grew up in Glasgow after being adopted as a baby by a white couple, Helen and John Kay. Kay became interested in literature and poetry, studying English at the University of Stirling. At the age of 17 she 'came out' to her adoptive mother as being a Lesbian. She is author of The Adoption Papers (1991) in which she explores themes close to her heart: identity, race and sexuality. Kay lives in Manchester and is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle. Her novel Trumpet, was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1998. She was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2006 and appointed as the Makar in 2016.