Lemn Sissay's Homecoming

Episodes

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012015050520150512 (BBC7)
20150513 (BBC7)

We all leave. We all migrate from childhood to adulthood, from village to town to city, from single to married. We all hate and love where we are from. We are all immigrants of time. There are problems with home and a need to leave. There is a love of home and a need to leave. Goodbye is who we are.

In Lemn Sissay's Homecoming, Lemn Sissay explores what "home" means through stand-up, poetry and conversation. It's surely not just a physical location - it's the people, the memories, the feeling. It's not home if you don't belong there, it's just where you live.

The first of these two shows was recorded at the Ghion Hotel, in Addis Ababa. Addis is a place that Lemn feels at home in - but why? He wasn't born there, doesn't live there, and can't even speak the language. Helping Lemn understand this are two Ethiopians who were brought up in Europe but who, unlike Lemn, moved back to Addis in adulthood; a social anthropologist who is an Ethiopian with a famous English name; and his own sister, who is Addis born and bred.

Lemn Sissay is the author of five collections of poetry. He has also written plays for stage and BBC radio. He was the first poet to write for the Olympics 2012 and received an MBE from the Queen for Services to Literature. He is associate artist at the Southbank Centre, and an (hon) doctor of letters. His radio documentary Child of the State was nominated for the 2010 Sony Awards. If you should google "Lemn sissay" all the returning hits will be about him. There is only one person named Lemn Sissay in the world.

Written and performed by... Lemn Sissay

Produced by... Ed Morrish.

Poet Lemn Sissay explores the nature of home through comedy, poetry and conversation.

022015051220150519 (BBC7)
20150520 (BBC7)

Poet Lemn Sissay explores the nature of home through comedy, poetry and conversation.

We all leave. We all migrate from childhood to adulthood, from village to town to city, from single to married. We all hate and love where we are from. We are all immigrants of time. There are problems with home and a need to leave. There is a love of home and a need to leave. Goodbye is who we are.

In Lemn Sissay's Homecoming, Lemn Sissay explores what "home" means through stand-up, poetry and conversation. It's surely not just a physical location - it's the people, the memories, the feeling. It's not home if you don't belong there, it's just where you live.

The second of these two shows was recorded in front of an audience in Lemn's adopted home of London. But he is still perhaps more closely associated with Manchester. He arrived there at the age of 18 with a birth certificate, a fist full of poems and a mouth. It was about to become Madchester. He grew into the talented adopted son of a wonderful, dysfunctional family and thrived. His poems have become landmarks throughout the city. He's tattooed its body. And then he left. He just left.

Talking to Lemn about his journey are Mancunian broadcaster Terry Christian, and artistic director of the Southbank Centre, Jude Kelly.

Lemn Sissay is the author of five collections of poetry. He has also written plays for stage and BBC radio. He was the first poet to write for the Olympics 2012 and received an MBE from the Queen for Services to Literature. He is associate artist at the Southbank Centre, and an (hon) doctor of letters. His radio documentary Child of the State was nominated for the 2010 Sony Awards. If you should google "Lemn sissay" all the returning hits will be about him. There is only one person named Lemn Sissay in the world.

Written and performed by... Lemn Sissay

Produced by... Ed Morrish.