University of Pittsburgh
November 9, 2008

Pitt to Host Critically Acclaimed Poet and Novelist Jackie Kay for Reading Nov. 18

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Poet and novelist Jackie Kay will deliver a literary reading at

8:30 p.m. Nov. 18, in the University of Pittsburgh's Room 501 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public.

Kay is the author of the poetry collections "The Adoption Papers" (Bloodaxe Books, 1991) and "Other Lovers" (Bloodaxe Books, 1993), the novel "Trumpet"(Picador, 1998), and the short story collections "Why Don't You Stop Talking" (Picador, 2002) and "Wish I Was Here"(Picador, 2006). Her awards and distinctions include the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book Award for "The Adoption Papers," the Somerset Maugham Award for "Other Lovers," and the Guardian Fiction Prize for "Trumpet". In 2007, she was named the winner of the Arts Council England's Decibel Writer of the Year Award for "Wish I Was Here".

Kay was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1961 to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother. As an infant, she was adopted by a Caucasian couple and raised in a suburb of Glasgow. Her early childhood experiences inspired "The Adoption Papers", which dramatizes her experiences through the creation of three different narrators: an adoptive mother, a birth mother, and a daughter. She has studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Sterling University, where she earned a BA degree in English in 1983. Kay is currently a professor of creative writing at New Castle University.

The event is sponsored by Pitt's Department of English in the School of Arts and Sciences, Women's Studies Program, Cultural Studies Program, and the Pittsburgh Consortium for Adoption Studies. For more information, contact Marianne Novy at