Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She was named Scots Makar (National Poet for Scotland) in March 2016. Kay has won awards for her poetry, fiction and children’s writing. Her first collection The Adoption Papers (Bloodaxe) won the Forward Prize, a Saltire prize and a Scottish Arts Council Prize. She was more recently shortlisted for the Costa award for her collection Fiere, and her most recent collection, The Empathetic Store, appeared with Mariscat in 2015. She was awarded an MBE in 2006 and was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002. She is Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

Photo: Mary McCartney


Past & Present »

Jackie Kay on Nan Shepherd
Michelle Cahill on Judith Wright

Sat 4 March | 11:30 - 12:30 | £4.00/£3.00 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Council Chamber

Round Table »

Intimate reading: Jackie Kay

Fri 3 March | 15:45 - 16:30 | £6.00/£4.00 | The Albany Hotel, North Street

Poetry Centre Stage »

A double bill of poetry for Saturday evening
20:00 reading – Sarah Howe
21:00 reading – Jackie Kay

Sat 4 March | 20:00 - 22:00 | £9.50/£7.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium



If ye went tae the tapmost hill, Fiere
Whaur we used tae clamb as girls,
Ye’d see the snow the day, Fiere,
Settling on the hills.
You’d mind o’ anither day, mibbe,
We ran doon the hill in the snow,
Sliding and singing oor way tae the foot,
Lassies laughing thegither – how braw.
The years slipping awa; oot in the weather.

And noo we’re suddenly auld, Fiere,
Oor friendship’s ne’er been weary.
We’ve aye seen the wurld differently.
Whaur would I hae been weyoot my jo,
My fiere, my fiercy, my dearie O?
Oor hair micht be silver noo,
Oor walk a wee bit doddery,
But we’ve had a whirl and a blast, girl,
Thru’ the cauld blast winter, thru spring, summer.

O’er a lifetime, my fiere, my bonnie lassie,
I’d defend you – you, me; blithe and blatter,
Here we gang doon the hill, nae matter,
Past the bracken, bothy, bonny braes, barley.
Oot by the roaring Sea, still havin a blether.
We who loved sincerely; we who loved sae fiercely.
The snow ne’er looked sae barrie,
Nor the winter trees sae pretty.
C’mon, c’mon my dearie – tak my hand, my fiere!

Jackie Kay

'Fiere' by Jackie Kay. Copyright © Jackie Kay 2011, used by permission of The Wylie Agency (UK) Limited