Warwick Borders, Race, Ethnicity and Migration Lecture 2017: Lemn Sissay

Tue, May 16, 2017 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM - Free

We are extremely pleased to announce that the 2017 BREM Annual Lecture will be given by poet, performer, thinker, campaigner and Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Lemn Sissay. Lemn’s writing engages with themes of borders, race, ethnicity and migration (among other things) and this will be a chance for researchers across all disciplines in the university to reflect on these themes in new ways, in the company of a public audience who are invited to this free event to enjoy Lemn’s talk and find out more about the research on these themes going on at the University of Warwick.

This is a public event and all are welcome. Please register to attend so we have an idea of numbers.

To find out more about BREM (the Warwick Borders, Race, Ethnicity and Migration Network), visit www.warwick.ac.uk/brem

To find out more about Lemn, read on…

Lemn Sissay has been a writer from birth and foremost he is a poet. His latest book Gold From the Stone was published in August 2016. He is the author of a series of books of poetry alongside articles, records, broadcasts, public art, commissions and plays. Sissay’s award winning play Something Dark directed by John McGrath has been performed throughout the world and his stage adaptation of Benjamin Zephaniah’s Novel Refugee Boy at West Yorkshire Playhouse toured Britain in 2014. A BBC TV documentary, Internal Flight, and a radio documentary, Child of the State, were both broadcast about his life and his Ted Talk has close to a million views. His documentary on the late Gil Scott Heron was the first public announcement of Scott-Heron’s comeback. He was the first poet commissioned to write for London Olympics and his Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London; they can be seen in The Royal Festival Hall and The Olympic Park. His Landmark Poem, Guilt of Cain, was unveiled by Bishop Desmond Tutu in Fen Court near Fenchurch St Station.

The Guardian newspaper heralded the arrival of his first book Tender Fingers In A Clenched Fist: “Lemn Sissay has success written all over his forehead”. He was 21. But he had other matters in mind. Between the ages of 18 and 32 he tracked his family down across the world. Although many people know his story… his career as a writer happened in spite of his incredible life story not because of it.

Lemn was the first Black Writers Development Worker outside of London. He created and established Cultureword (part of Commonword) where he developed, supported, and published many new writers who’ve gone on to a life of creativity. Sissay received an MBE from The Queen for services to literature and honorary doctorates from University of Huddersfield and University of Manchester. University of Huddersfield run the Sissay PhD Scholarship for care leavers: the first of its kind in the UK.

In June 2015 Lemn Sissay was elected Chancellor of The University of Manchester. He says “my role is to inspire and be inspired”.

Lemn’s head is in London where he’s based, his heart is in Manchester where he is not, his soul is in Addis and his vibe is in New York where his mother lives.

Google “Lemn Sissay” and all the hits will be about him. There is only one Lemn Sissay in the world!

The event will be followed by a reception with juice, wine and snacks.

This is a public event and all are welcome. Please register to attend so we have an idea of numbers.