Lecture in language
There is only one person in the world named Lemn Sissay. He is the one whose Landmark Poems can be found on the walls of Manchester and London.
Lemn is a poet, playwright, memoirist, performer and broadcaster with an incredible destiny which, along with his undeniable talent and subtle sense of the poetry of life, is the reason why Lemn was awarded The Pen Pinter Prize in 2019 when his memoir ‘My name Is Why’ reached number one in The Sunday Times bestseller list. In 2021 it won Indie Book Awards non-fiction prize.
Lemn has written a number of books, theatre and radio plays, has spoken and read on stage throughout the world, and has been involved in dozens of various art projects. His Landmark Poems in public spaces can be seen throughout Manchester and London at venues such as The Royal Festival Hall, and also at The British Council in Addis Ababa. His TV documentaries have been nominated for Griersons BAFTA and RTS awards 2020 and 2021, his work in radio has been nominated for Sony and Palm D’Ors. Lemn has written a series of plays. ‘Something Dark’ won a race in the media award. He has judged many literary competitions including 2020 Booker Prize, The Gold Man Booker Awards, The National Poetry Competition, The Forward Prize, The Ted Hughes Prize, Cardiff International poetry competition, The Creative Future Literary Awards, and the Bridport Prize.
His children’s book ‘Don’t Ask The Dragon’ is to be published in 2022.
Lemn has also worked in music over the years. In 2021 his poems were part of a concerto performed at the BBC Proms in The Royal Albert Hall. Another poem ‘Spark Catchers’ featured in the 2017 concerto by Chineke at The BBC Proms written by Hannah Kendal! It was the most viewed concert in the history of BBC Proms.
Lemn Sissay was named MBE for services to literature by The Queen in 2014. In 2021 he was named OBE for services to Literature and Charity. He has honorary doctorates from Universities of Huddersfield, Manchester, Brunel, Kent and Essex. Lemn has been Chancellor of University of Manchester since 2015, where his chancellorship ends in 2022.