Episode
December 18, 2019

'My Name Is Why': Lemn Sissay's long walk towards the light

Award-winning poet and playwright joins The Stream to talk about his unstinting memoir detailing his early years in the UK care system.
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Lemn Sissay is one of the UK's most revered writers. He has authored several collections of poetry, as well as plays for both stage and public radio, and was official poet of the 2012 London Olympics. Now Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Sissay has overcome a host of early challenges - not least the often painful experiences of growing up in a British foster family and, later, an ill-equipped care system.

Sissay battled for years to get hold of his care files, which now form the backbone of 'My Name Is Why'. The memoir unswervingly charts his battle out of darkness and out into the light - a theme outlined by verses that introduce each chapter of the book. Fresh from winning the 2019 PEN Pinter Prize, Sissay joins The Stream on Wednesday to talk about his journey to reconnect with his Ethiopian heritage, as well as his creative processes and inspirations. Join the conversation.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with: 

Lemn Sissay, @lemnsissay
Author, "My Name Is Why"
lemnsissay.com

Read more:
‘Was this all my fault?’: Lemn Sissay's painful yet hope-filled memoir - The Guardian
In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System - OkayAfrica

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