“I am not defined by my scars but by the incredible ability to heal”
New work and old favourites from national treasure and one of Britain’s most exciting poets, Lemn Sissay
Lemn Sissay was seventeen when he wrote his first poetry book, which he hand-sold to the miners and millworkers of Wigan. Since then his poems have become landmarks, sculpted in granite and built from concrete, recorded on era-defining albums and declaimed in over thirty countries. He has performed to thousands of football fans at the FA Cup Final, to hundreds of thousands as the poet of the London Olympics, and to millions across our TV screens and the airwaves of BBC Radio. He has become one of the nation’s best-loved voices.
“One of the most original, challenging poets writing in Britain today, and his extraordinary, heart-breaking, courageous life story is the stuff of legend … The collection showcases his breadth, his passion, his anger and his humanity … Full of light and hope … A prodigious talent”
daily Mail, Poetry Of The Year
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“Hugely enjoyable, inventive, funny and touching”
“Lemn Sissay is a passionate and powerful voice whose performances are humbling and exhilarating”
“A tremendous selection of his poetry … His gift as a writer - of plays, poetry, documentaries - is for turning life’s base metal into gold”
“This volume of selected and new poems traces [Sissay’s] path from gifted adolescent to accomplished poetic voice, railing with passion and prowess against the “quiet violence of the day-to-day”“
Lemn Sissay is an award-winning writer and popular broadcaster as well as being the author of five poetry books. He was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Huddersfield and the University of Manchester. He was awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to literature. He was the official poet for the London 2012 Olympics. He has worked throughout the world and is patron of the Letterbox Club, supporting children in care. His work in the Arctic has featured at the Royal Academy and in galleries throughout the world. His Landmark poems can be found in London, Manchester, Huddersfield and Addis Ababa. In 2015 he was appointed Chancellor of the University of Manchester. He is British and Ethiopian.
If you haven’t yet listened to the Guardian’s new podcast The Start, about artistic beginnings, then you’re missing out. Our own Lemn Sissay was on talking about his poem ‘Invisible Kisses’, the early relationship that inspired it, and how as a child he was separated from his mother and his name. You can listen to the full episode, and the poem itself is included in Gold from the Stone.