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Lemn Sissay


Lemn Sissay MBE (1967) is an English author and broadcaster. Sissay was the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics, has been chancellor of the University of Manchester since 2015, and joined the Foundling Museum's board of trustees two years later, having previously been appointed one of the museum's fellows.

At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a foster family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.

This website draws together the work Lemn has been doing for many years; he has written publications with Canongate, Oberon, Bloomsbury Bloodaxe and Faber and Faber. And many other writings: plays poetry, articles introductions to publication like The Moth collection to articles for The Guardian.

His memoir, My Name Is Why, is published by Canongate in 2019.

Bafta nominated broadcaster Lemn has worked in Screen and Sound for thirty years. Lemn has spoken on stages throughout the world.

The website also includes the prolific work with care leavers including the Christmas Dinners which were set up for care leavers on Christmas Day so that they wouldn't have to spend the day alone.

He was awarded the 2019 PEN Pinter Prize.

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