CSULA Department of English | Events

Lemn Sissay will be the British Council UK Writer-in-Residence at CSULA from Monday, January 7  to Friday, February 1, 2008. During his residence, Lemn will offer creative writing workshops and poetry readings for faculty and students. He is also  Image of Lemn Sissay

photo credit: James Ross

scheduled to give presentations to groups on campus, and hopes to offer a weekly poem to be published in the University Times.  For up-to-date information on his itinerary, see his schedule of events in the box to the right.

Sissay is the author of four poetry collections: Tender Fingers in a Clenched Fist (1988); Rebel

Without Applause (1992); Morning Breaks in the Elevator (1999) and The Emperor's Watchmaker (2000). He is also the editor of The Fire People: A Collection of Contemporary Black British Poets (1998), and his work has appeared in many anthologies.  He is a regular contributor to Poetry Review and has judged various writers competitions such as The Arvon Poetry Prize and The John Lewellyn Literature prize.

His stage plays are Chaos By Design (1994), Storm (2003), and Something Dark (2006). Something Dark was adapted for Radio Three and won the RIMA award in 2006. His next collection of poems Listener (working title) will be published by Canongate in September 2008.  He is commissioned to write the adaptation of Benjamin Zephaniah’s book Refugee Boy for The west Yorkshire Playhouse in 2008. A new poem will be unveiled inlaid in  sculptor in The  Image of Lemn Sissay

photo credit: James Ross

City of London in 2008.   He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Four's Saturday Live and lives presently in East London.

Sissay is artist in residence at The South Bank Centre throughout 2007 and 2008. He has been writer in residence at The Cambridge Literature festival, The Belfast Literature Festival, University of Arizona and Contact Theatre Manchester. He is Patron along with Jaqueline Wilson of The Letterbox Club, a book trust initiative to get books to children in care of the social services. 

Find out more about Lemn Sissay by visiting the following website:

Lemn Sissay's website: http://www.lemnsissay.com 

British Council's website on Lemn's visit

British Council's website on Lemn Sissay

British Council's UK Writer-in-Residence Program

For more information, call the Cal State L.A. English Department at (323) 343-4140.

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Lemn Sissay's visit to CSULA as the British Council UK Writer-in-Residence is made possible by the CSULA Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, the Department of English, the College of Arts and Letters, and through the additional support of the British Council.

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Lemn Sissay at CSULA
Office: E & T A613
Telephone: 323-343-4289

Office Hours
MW 3:15-4:15pm

Wednesday, January 16, 4:00-5:30pm
English Department Seminar Room (E & T A631)—Reception to welcome Lemn Sissay. Open to CSULA faculty, staff and students. Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, January 15 and Tuesday, January 29, 3:15pm-4:15pm
English Department Seminar Room (E & T A631)—Lemn will hold two open creative writing workshops. Students and faculty may participate, and should register one week in advance by contacting Lemn at [email protected]. He will provide instructions on submitting your writing. Enrollment is limited.

Wednesday, January 30, 6:30pm
Music Hall. (Click here for map.) "Tender Fingers in a Clenched Fist" — Poetry reading open to the public, free of charge. Book signing will follow. Lemn's books and CD will be available for sale and autographing at the reading, and before the reading in the University Bookstore.