Lemn Sissay: My Name is Why

Date: Friday March 27th
Venue: Pavilion Theatre
Time: 9pm
Cost: €15 / €12
Age: Adult

We are thrilled to welcome Lemn Sissay to Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival. In conversation with Evelyn O'Rourke, he will reflect on his childhood in care, on self-expression and Britishness; exploring the care system, race, family and the meaning of home and celebrating the redemptive power of creativity. There will also, of course, be a poem or two.

Lemn Sissay is the author of five poetry collections: Tender Fingers in a Clenched Fist (1988); Rebel Without Applause (1992); Morning Breaks in the Elevator (1999); The Emperor's Watchmaker (2000), and Listener (2008). He is also the editor of The Fire People: A Collection of Contemporary Black British Poets (1998), and his work has appeared in many anthologies. His stage plays are Chaos By Design, Storm, and Something Dark. Examples of his television explorations include a 6-part jazz series for BBC2, and in 2004 he presented the first National Poetry Slam and The New Brit for the BBC. His work has featured in various short films including the British Film Institute sponsored The Elevator, featuring Gary Lewis. A documentary about Lemn’s extraordinary life and search for his father, Internal Flight, was broadcast on BBC1. He has been commissioned to write poems by various bodies including the World Service, and his work has become public art, particularly in Manchester, where his poems appear on buildings and streets. Lemn Sissay reads his work around the world and is featured on many albums, most notably Leftism by Leftfield. The Independent on Sunday says of his work: 'His poems are the songs of the street, declamatory, imaginative, hard-hitting ...'

Evelyn O’Rourke joined RTÉ in 1998 as a researcher on The Gay Byrne Show and The Arts Show on RTÉ Radio 1 before moving on to become roving reporter on Today with Pat Kenny on RTÉ Radio 1 and The Gerry Ryan Show on RTÉ 2fm. She has served as a presenter on several RTÉ programmes, including Drivetime, Liveline and Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 as well as The Sean O Rourke Show. She is also an avid reader and presenter each year of the An Post Irish Book Awards.

Lemn Sissay (© Hamish Brown)