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1001 Stories Collection

Brendan Gallacher

1001 Brendan Gallagher
Added on 23rd August 2020

Author Jackie Kay
First published 1992
Publisher Blackie Children’s, London

A poem that perfectly captures the power of the imagination

Story

A story about an imaginary friend.

Why we chose it

A poem that captures how real –and how fragile – an imaginary friend can be to a child. Jackie Kay is Scotland’s Makar, a position similar to Poet Laureate. Many of her poems explore the power of the imagination and of the stories that we all tell about ourselves.

Where it came from

When Jackie Kay was a child she had an imaginary friend who for two years her family believed to be real. She was born in Edinburgh to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father and adopted as a baby by a white couple. Her family were involved in working for social justice and the first poems she wrote as a child were often about what she felt was wrong with the world. She discovered performance poetry at ‘poems and pints’ nights as a teenager and discovered the joy of poems written in ordinary language and told in local dialect.

Where it went next

Two’s Company, the collection in which Brendan Gallacher appeared, won the Signal Award for Poetry. Brendan Gallacher has been used on the GCSE syllabus.

Associated stories

Jackie Kay writes for both children and adults. Her poetry anthologies for children include Two’s Company, The Frog Who Dreamed She was an Opera Singer and Red, Cherry Red.

Red Cherry Red won the CLPE Poetry Award in 2008.

Added on 23rd August 2020

Author Jackie Kay
First published 1992
Publisher Blackie Children’s, London