Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father. She was adopted at birth and was 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 by and growing up withing a white family inspired her first collection of poetry, The Adoption Papers. Her first novel, Trumpet was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize. Inspired by the life of musician Billy Tipton, the novel tells the story of Scottish jazz trumpeter Joss Moody whose death revealed that he was, in fact, a woman. Her dramatised poem, The Lamplighter was shortlisted for the 2009 Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award. Her Maw Broon Monologues, performed at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, and combining rhythmic verse and music, were shortlisted for the 2010 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Red Dust Road (2010), a memoir about meeting her Nigerian birth father, was shortlisted for the 2011 PEN/Ackerley Prize. In 2006, she was awarded an MBE for services to literature.