Colette Bryce and Jackie Kay: chaired by Niall MacMonagle

Date: Sunday March 29th
Venue: dlr LexIcon, Level 4
Time: 1:30pm
Cost: €15 / €12
Age: Adult

We are delighted to welcome our Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2020 judges Colette Bryce and Jackie Kay for a special reading of their latest work. Jackie Kay will read a selection of new poems inspired by her travels around Scotland as Scots Makar. She has written plays, poetry and short stories; as something of a Scottish National Treasure, we’re pleased to host her alongside Colette Bryce.

The Scots Makar Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father. She was adopted as a baby by a white Scottish couple, Helen and John Kay, and grew up in Bishopbriggs, a suburb of Glasgow. She studied English at the University of Stirling and her first book of poetry, the partially autobiographical The Adoption Papers, was published in 1991 and won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book Award. Her other awards include the 1994 Somerset Maugham Award for Other Lovers, and the Guardian First Book Award Fiction Prize for Trumpet, based on the life of American jazz musician Billy Tipton, born Dorothy Tipton, who lived as a man for the last fifty years of his life. Kay writes extensively for stage, screen and for children. In 2010 she published Red Dust Road, an account of her search for her natural parents. Jackie Kay was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2006 and worked as Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and Cultural Fellow at Glasgow Caledonian University. She took part in the Bush Theatre's 2011 project Sixty-Six Books, with a piece based upon a book of the King James Bible. Since 2014, she has been Chancellor of the University of Salford.

Colette Bryce is a poet from Derry. She has published four collections with Picador, the latest of which, The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), received a Christopher Ewart-Biggs Award in memory of Seamus Heaney. Selected Poems was the recipient of the Pigott Prize for Irish poetry in 2017. She is the incoming editor of Poetry Ireland Review in 2020 and she will share with us poems from her new collection, The M Pages.

Niall MacMonagle is a teacher, critic and broadcaster and a regular contributor to the Today with Sean O’Rourke programme on Radio 1. He has been an advocate for the arts and, in particular, a champion for poetry. He spent more than 30 years teaching at Wesley College in Dublin, where he founded the poetry-speaking initiative Poetry Aloud, now a nationwide competition. He was responsible for the brilliant Lifelines series and to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, Niall published Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 which reflects the country’s people and beliefs, its landscape, passions and politics over the past century. He writes a weekly art column for the Sunday Independent and has edited numerous anthologies. He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature by UCD in 2017 for his services to literature.

L - R: Colette Bryce, Jackie Kay and Niall MacMonagle