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.

Guest Director News

Music

LOOK AT THIS! David Shrigley Brighton Festival Tips

27 Mar 2018

Under David Shrigley's directorship, we are going to have an amazing Brighton Festival 2018 - he’s pretty good at picking and making great shows and events.…

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Announcements

Brighton Festival launches programme with David Shrigley as Guest Director

27 Mar 2018

The full programme for Brighton Festival 2018, the largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England, was unveiled today with the Turner Prize-nominated…

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Guest Director

Meet David Shrigley, our 2018 Guest Director

27 Mar 2018

We're delighted to welcome visual artist and Brighton resident David Shrigley as the Guest Director for Brighton Festival 2018.Best known for his distinctive…

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Spoken Word Events

Spoken Word

HERSTORY

A city-wide audio storytelling experience that uncovers the stories of women usually hidden from history

1 - 31 May 2021
Spoken Word
Past event

In Their Shoes: Poem Trail

Before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes...Follow an interactive spoken word trail that explores concepts of empathy and otherness through…

3 Feb 2017
Spoken Word
Past event

Storytelling Army

Follow the action live over the weekend via Twitter by searching #StorytellingArmy. Look out for pop-up performances across Brighton, be it in the…

7 Feb 2017

Spoken Word Events

Have a look at the spoken word events we have on at the Festival this year. 

See events