Secret Gardens, Stour Street, Canterbury, CT1 2NR
Festival Patron Lemn Sissay explores what it means to be a writer and artist – our responsibilities to the world and each other and how we nurture and replenish our own creativity and sense of purpose.
This event is for anyone that has an affinity towards words. Whether you write professionally or write for your own personal goals. This is the talk for you. Lemn’s love of words and passion for writing exude from every inch of his body- Listen as he asks “What it means to be a writer” and hear as he answers in a way that is uniquely his own.
About Lemn Sissay:
He hardly needs an introduction, since beating former politician Lord Peter Mandelson in the election for the chancellorship of the University of Manchester, you can hardly open a national paper, turn on the radio or television with there being a feature on Lemn Sissay. As a castaway on Desert Island Discs he shared the story of his search for his birth parents. Born to a young Ethiopian woman who wanted him temporarily fostered while she completed her studies, he was with a family until he was 12. He would spend the next five years in a number of children’s homes where he began to write. On leaving care at 17, he self-published his first book of poetry while on the dole.
He is associate artist at the Southbank Centre, author of five poetry collections and an award winning play. He is ambassador for The Children’s Reading Fund, trustee of Forward Arts Foundation and World Book Night, and founder of Cultureword. His work with young people has changed the lives of thousands, guiding ‘Superheros’ out from dark corners and supporting care leavers across the UK. He was awarded an MBE for his impact on literature, and is an honorary doctor of letters at the University of Huddersfield, where he has also set up The Sissay Scholarship for care leavers.
There is only one Lemn Sissay in the world (google it, its true!) and we are thrilled that he will be headlining and bringing this year’s this year’s Wise Words Festival to a close.