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Fiere by Jackie Kay

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Jackie Kay’s new collection is a lyric counterpart to her memoir, Red Dust Road, the extraordinary story of the search for her Nigerian and Highland birth-parents; but it is also a moving book in its own right, and a deep enquiry into all forms of human friendship. Fiere – Scots for ‘companion, friend, equal’ – is a vivid description of the many paths our lives take, and of how those journeys are made meaningful by our companions on the road: lovers, friends, parents, children, mentors – as well as all the remarkable and chance acquaintances we would not otherwise have made. Written with Kay’s trademark wit and flair, and infused with both Scots and Igbo speech, it is also a fascinating account of the formation of a self-identity – and the discovery of a tongue that best honours it. Musical and moving, funny and profound, Fiere is Jackie Kay’s most accomplished, assured and ambitious collection of poems to date.

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