2020/2021: Lemn Sissay MBE

If you Google, the name 'Lemn Sissay' all the returning hits will be about him. There’s only one person in the world named Lemn Sissay

Lemn is a poet, playwright, artist performer and broadcaster. He has read on stage throughout the world: from The Library of Congress in The United States to The University of Addis Ababa, from Singapore to Sri Lanka, Bangalore to Dubai, from Bali to Greenland and Wigan library.

His memoir My Name Is Why (published by Canongate Books, 2019) reflects on  childhood, self-expression and Britishness, and explores the institutional care system he was raised in, race, family and the meaning of home. His moving, frank and timely story is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity. The publication is a Sunday Times number one bestseller and has been listed as book of the year in The Times, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman and The Herald. He was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics and wrote the official poem for the FA Cup.

His Landmark Poems can be found on walls in public spaces around the world from The Royal Festival Hall in London to The British Council Offices in Addis Ababa and throughout his home city of Manchester. His Landmark poem `Gilt of Cain’ was unveiled by Bishop Desmond Tutu in The City of London: Sissay’s installation poem `what if’ exhibited at The Royal Academy and toured the world in galleries from Tokyo to New York.

Brighton Festival 2021