Humour, Gender, Sexuality, Sensuality, Identity, Racism, and Cultural Difference. When do any of these things ever come together to equal poetry? When Jackie Kay’s part of the equation. “Darling” brings together into a vibrant new book many favourite poems from her four Bloodaxe collections, “The Adoption Papers”, “Other Lovers”, “Off Colour” and “Life Mask”, as well as featuring new work, some previously uncollected poems, and some lively poetry for younger readers.
Kay’s poems draw on her own life and the lives of others to make a tapestry of voice and communal understanding. The title of her acclaimed short story collection, “Why Don’t You Stop Talking”, could be a comment on her own poems, their urgency of voice and their recognition of the urgency in all voice, particularly the need to be heard, to have voice. And what voice – the voices of the everyday, the voices of jazz, the voices of this many-voiced United Kingdom.