Jackie Hagan – multi-award-winning poet, playwright, performer and activist – is the Festival Poet for this year’s Kaleidoscope.

Jackie is passionate about making theatre and creativity accessible to everyone.
She is a working-class, queer, dyslexic amputee with systemic sclerosis.
She’s down to earth, disarming and energised by her anger at the barriers put in front of people.
She is bedsit avant-garde and good with folk.

In 2018, Jackie became a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow and was nominated for a Women of the World award for effecting social change using spoken-word. She has been awarded ‘Best Spoken Word Show’ Sabotuer award in 2016 and 2018, worked extensively for the British Council, has been the subject of a Channel Four documentary short, and – in 2016 – represented the UK in slam poetry in Rio de Janeiro.

As well as delivering over two thousand workshops in prisons, schools, hospitals and internationally, Jackie has written for Attitude magazine, Diva magazine, Gay Star, and regularly crops up on BBC Radio Four, and BBC Ouch!

She is also both a guest lecturer and an accessibility consultant at Manchester Met University.


For Kaleidoscope, Jackie will be joining the festival for the Chester’s Disability Pride Parade (Mon 30 Sep), Open Mic Afternoon (Tue 1 Oct), and will perform the poem she has written from her observations of the festival at the Kaleidoscope Variety Show (Sun 6 Oct).


Suitable for all

Festival Kaleidoscope Festival

A weeklong festival celebrating neurodiversity and the talents of people living with a learning disability