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University of Stirling


Stirling alumna Scots Makar returns for poetry project

Jackie Kay
Scotland's national poet and Stirling alumna Jackie Kay takes a moment to reflect in the University library

The University of Stirling hosted Scotland’s national poet, Jackie Kay, on campus for a special poetry reading.

Jackie, who graduated from the University of Stirling with a BA in English Studies in 1983 and was awarded an Honorary Degree from the University in 2000, was welcomed back with open arms.

The Scots Makar attended the Out of Bounds Schools Poetry Day at the University’s Pathfoot Building where she read some of her works to 100 enthusiastic students from Shawlands Academy, Larbert High School and Dunblane High School and answered their questions on poetry, place and identity.

The celebrated poet also enjoyed a walk around the campus revisiting her favourite spots. She was joined by fellow Stirling alumna Asif Khan, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library.

Jackie said: “It’s lovely being back on campus – every time you come back here you get a magical feeling. I try to come back as much as possible and revisit my roots.”

Academics at the University are now working with Jackie to create a new digital anthology of British poetry.

Dr Gemma Robinson, Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, said: “We’re very proud to say Jackie is one our most loved alumna and we are delighted to welcome her back to the University to share her love of poetry with the next generation of writers and readers.

“Working with Jackie, editing the Out of Bounds poetry anthology, was a joy. We imagined the book as an alternative A-Z of Britain, bringing together new and established black and Asian poets who write about place. In this new AHRC-funded project we are experimenting with ways to take place poetry off the page and give it a new digital life. It’s always pleasure to think about the future of poetry with Jackie Kay.”