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A poetry update

(6 October 2017)

An Evening of Poetry with Lemn Sissay

Lemn will be performing a selection of new and favourite poems on Saturday 7 October at the Martin Harris Centre.

Having published his first book of poetry aged 21, he received an MBE from The Queen for services to literature in 2010. He became Chancellor at The University of Manchester in June 2015.

All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Lemn Sissay Foundation, established to support the causes that are close to his heart: the arts, education, young people in care, care leavers and the people of Ethiopia.

AMBS/Centre for New Writing poetry competition

Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS), together with the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures’ Centre for New Writing, has hosted a poetry competition for students at local Whalley Range and Levenshulme High Schools.

The competition was launched and supported by Lemn to celebrate National Poetry Day. And the results inspired not only the school students but all of us, as you can see in this film.

We have more in common…

Lemn has also seen one of his poems help celebrate the diverse community of Old Trafford. His words are intertwined in a piece of community street art, funded by Trafford Housing Trust, installed on the Prestage Street-Langshaw Street intersection.

The mural – designed to bring the community together and celebrate the rich diversity of the area – is a collection of different birds suggested by residents, representing the different cultures and countries of origin in the community, with Manchester bees alongside them.

Lemn’s poem draws on the themes of diversity, unity and community spirit:

Said the sun to the moon
Said the head to the heart
‘We have more in common
Than sets us apart’

The work was organised and commissioned by local residents Hannah Paterson and Jess Lishak, Communications and Engagement Officer at Humanities-based Policy@Manchester.

Jess said: “Although we organised this project months ago, the need for things like this has become even more poignant and evident following the horrific attack at Manchester Arena. It was inspiring to see the community come together in the immediate aftermath, but some of our Muslim neighbours also told us of increased hostility and discrimination from a small selection of people (often not from Manchester themselves) which just highlights for me why we need to send a strong message of unity and celebrating the diversity that brings so much to our area.”