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Awesome Prose: My Name is Why

May 10, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

One of the squad’s 3 Awesome Reading groups – designed to think about how we can read as writers.

If you want to join us, then here’s what you need to know:

We will be reading My Name is Why by Lemn Sissay. The text can be bought here.

NB: Because of the different types of documents included in the book, there have been problems reported with the legibility of the Kindle version, so buying/borrowing a paper version is strongly recommended.

At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a foster family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.

This is Lemn’s story: a story of neglect and determination, misfortune and hope, cruelty and triumph.

Sissay reflects on his childhood, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation’s best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.


May 10, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm



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