The Red Graveyard by Jackie Kay

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“There are some stones that open in the night like flowers / Down in the red graveyard where Bessie haunts her lovers.” In this video, Jackie Kay, national poet laureate of Scotland, reads her poem “The Red Graveyard” about her connection to American blues singer Bessie Smith. Kay’s biography Bessie Smith is forthcoming in February from Faber.

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Jackie Kay

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“I wrote the poems that I wanted to read and I wrote about the experiences that I wanted to find.” Jackie Kay, Scotland's first black national poet, speaks about her memoir, Red Dust Road (Picador, 2010), which chronicles the search for her birth parents, and what she hopes to share through her poetry.

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