Lemn Sissay MBE is a highly acclaimed poet, playwright, author and broadcaster. Earlier this year he received the PEN/Pinter Prize, awarded to a writer who casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies’.
And yet Lemn’s life, career and identity has been forged from the most challenging of beginnings. As he charts in his extraordinary memoir, “My Name is Why”, he spent his childhood in foster care and in care homes; and was prevented from discovering his real name, and identity as a British Ethiopian until he was 17 years old.
We are thrilled to welcome Lemn to Stroud Book Festival. In conversation with Adam Horovitz, 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 may also be a poem or two.