Jackie Kay MBE was formally initiated in a ceremony that saw celebrated Accrington writer Jeanette Winterson and Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart sing the praises of the renowned Scottish poet who will now head up the University.
The role of Chancellor will see the distinguished, award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and plays act as the ceremonial head of the institution and play an important part in representing the University of Salford and supporting the work of students and the wider community.
As well as her role as Chancellor, Jackie will also take up the position of University ‘Writer in Residence.’ This role involves contributing major commissions to enhance learning and teaching, and broaden the students’ experience at the University.
The award-winning writer stated that it was a special honour to be chosen for the role. She said: “I feel honoured to have been chosen as the new Chancellor for the University of Salford and look forward to being a hands-on Chancellor, as well as a ‘shaking hands’ Chancellor.
“My son graduated from Salford last year and I look forward to sharing in the special moments of families and friends celebrating their loved ones achievements in the years to come. I will take every chance to put this very special University on the map.”
Jackie used the ceremony to congratulate Professor Helen Marshall on her appointment as the new Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford.
Jackie has published five collections of poetry for adults and several for children. Jackie’s first book of poetry, The Adoption Papers won the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year and a commendation from the Forward Poetry Prize judges. Her other awards include the Guardian First Book Award Fiction Prize for her celebrated first novel Trumpet and the Somerset Maugham Award for Other Lovers.
She also writes extensively for the stage and screen. Her play Twice Over was the first by a Black writer to be produced by Gay Sweatshop Theatre Group in 1988. Her plays have been performed at The Royal Exchange and more recently she wrote Manchester Lines for the Library Theatre.
Jackie has lived in Manchester for over 15 years and is Cultural Fellow at Glasgow Caledonian University. Until recently Jackie was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle and her 2010 book Red Dust Road is currently being made into a play for television.