Lemn Sissay is a National Poetry Day Ambassador
October 3, 2023
We are thrilled to welcome Lemn Sissay as an Ambassador for National Poetry Day.
Lemn is a BAFTA-nominated, award-winning writer and broadcaster. He has authored collections of poetry and plays and his memoir My Name Is Why was a number one Sunday Times bestseller.
"Poetry is the syntax of the soul.
Poetry is not a minority sport. It is in the lyrics of Amy Winehouse, in adverts on television, it is read at weddings and funerals, It is in the West End and theatres around the UK. Poetry is in every musical form from Grime to Opera. Wake up and let the light pour in.
Do yourself a favour, instead of telling someone you love them. Find out what they love and then find a poem about what they love and give it to them."
His poems often explore the central theme of this year’s National Poetry Day: REFUGE.
Together we are asking: 'What does the Refuge mean to you?’
We want people to share their versions of Refuge, through writing and sharing of poems on social media using the hashtag #NationalPoetryDay.
We're featuring a beautiful poem by Lemn this NPD. It's one of a range of commissioned poems on the National Poetry Day website that can be shared with friends, classes and communities to help consider what refuge means.
There are poems for all ages and the poems represent work from some of our nation’s most prominent and influential poets.
Lemn Sissay is a BAFTA-nominated, award-winning writer and broadcaster. He has authored collections of poetry and plays and his memoir My Name Is Why was a number one Sunday Times bestseller. His Landmark poems are visible in London, Manchester, Huddersfield and Addis Ababa. He has been made an Honorary Doctor by the universities of Manchester, Kent, Essex, Huddersfield and Brunel, and in 2019 he was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize. He received an MBE in 2010 and an OBE in 2021 for services to literature and charity. In 2023, Sissay was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. He is British and Ethiopian.