Lemn Sissay

British poet, author, broadcaster and official poet of the 2012 London Olympics.

man in black stands in front of a glacier
Lemn Sissay photographed during Cape Farewell’s 2008 Disko Bay expedition. Photo by Nathan Gallagher.

Lemn Sissay joined Cape Farewell on the 2008 Disko Bay Expedition, visiting the spectacular Disko Bay area of West Greenland with over 40 international artists, journalists and scientists. Following the expedition he joined Cape Farewell at a series of events including Earth: Art of a Changing World at the Royal Academy, Shift Festival, the Cheltenham Science Festival and the London Literature Festival. Lemn features in our Burning Ice film directed by Peter Gilbert, and his work toured internationally with our Unfold exhibition.

Lemn Sissay OBE is a British author. He wrote Advice For The Living the inspiration for a concerto at The BBC Proms in 2005, by composer Fraiser Trainer with violin solo by acclaimed Viktoria Mullova. On the other hand one of his pieces 21st century poem was on the award winning hit album Leftism by Leftfield. He was the youngest interviewee on BBC’s hit series Grumpy Old Men. In September Archbishop Desmond Tutu unveiled his poem The Gilt of Cain, a commissioned sculpture and poem by the City of London.

He also writes plays, his next called Why I Don’t Hate White People is at The Lyric Hammersmith in February 09. He’s been writer in residence in places such as Cambridge Literature festival, Belfast Literature Festival, Arizona State University and Southbank Centre, London.

He has performed poetry everywhere from Ronnie Scots in London to The Gammage Theatre in Arizona; From Hamburg University in Germany to St Petersburg in Russia; from Wigan Town Hall to Yaunda Cameroon; From Ruskin College in Oxford to Kings Cambridge. He has judged many awards but while on Cape Farewell he’s reading the final selection of Britian’s most prestigious prize in poetry The Forward Poetry Prize. Something Dark (2006) was adapted for BBC Radio 3 and won the RIMA award. He s a regular contributor to Radio Four’s Saturday Live and occasionally makes radio documentary.

Watch Lemn Sissay perform his poem What If?
Earth: Art of a Changing World
Burning Ice film
About the Disko Bay expedition

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