Lemn Sissay OBE



Lemn Sissay OBE is a poet, broadcaster and author with a distinguished track record of multiple achievements in the arts field including permanent installations in Manchester and London. 

Lemn won the RIMA award from the Commission for Racial Equality in 2005 for his one-man radio drama Something Dark.

He has since published extensive plays and radio dramas, including Lemn Sissay’s Origin Stories for the BBC and The Report, a one-off show about the effects of a psychologist’s report as he was observed as a child. 

Lemn has made many award-winning documentaries, including Lemn Sissay: Memory of Me for BBC One’s Imagine series, and Superkids: Breaking Away from Care for Channel 4. 

From 2007, he became the artist-in-residence at the Southbank Centre. Beyond this, his work has featured at the Royal Academy and the British Film Institute. 

In 2012, he was the official poet for the London Olympic Games. 

Since 2015, Lemn has been the chancellor of the University of Manchester – his poems are permanent installations across the city and in London at locations including Royal Festival Hall and Olympic Park. He has also been a subject on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. 

Lemn became a trustee of the Foundling Museum in 2017, and in 2019 he was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize. In that same year, he published his memoir My Name is Why to great critical acclaim. 

In 2022, Lemn took part in television programmes such as BBC’s Live Lessons, curated poems for BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Season and Team GB’s 10th Anniversary, and has written and presented his own podcast series with the British Library called All About Sound.

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