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Jackie Kay Biography

(1961– ), A Dangerous Knowing: Four Black Women Poets, The Adoption Papers, Other Lovers, Chiaroscuro

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Patrick Kavanagh Biography to Knocknarea Sligo

British poet, born in Edinburgh; she grew up in Glasgow and was educated at Stirling University. In addition to her activities as a writer and performer of her poetry, she has worked in publishing, child-care, and arts administration. Her work first came to notice in A Dangerous Knowing: Four Black Women Poets (1984), edited by Prathiba Parma. The Adoption Papers (1991), her acclaimed first collection of poems, is strongly informed by her background as a black child adopted by white parents. A second collection, Other Lovers (1993), appeared in 1993. Kay's compassion and humour temper the strong political and feminist engagement in her work, which frequently deals with race and sexuality. She has also written two plays, Chiaroscuro (1986) and Twice Over (1988). Her other works include the children's poetry in Two's Company (1992) and the television ‘poetry documentary’ Twice Through the Heart (1991), a highly original treatment of a murder case.

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