My Name is Why: Lemn Sissay in Conversation

British poet and national treasure Lemn Sissay talks to Georgina Godwin about his courageous memoir 'My Name is Why'.

The Inkpot, Cheltenham

Saturday 5th October, 2019 @ 6:00 pm

  • Book signing
  • In Conversation
  • Questions & Answers


About the Event

My Name is Why captures a childhood in care and a subsequent search for identity, family and the meaning of home.

At the age of 17, after a childhood in a foster family and six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. Norman was not his real name, it was Lemn Sissay. He learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.

This is Lemn's story, one of cruelty and neglect, determination and triumph. Lemn Sissay (MBE) is one of Britain's best loved, award-winning poets and performers.

Venue Information

The Inkpot
Imperial Square
GL50 1UW
United Kingdom

About the Book

My Name Is Why
My Name Is Why

Lemn Sissay

Publisher:Canongate Books Ltd

Publication date:26 Apr 2019


4.35 out of 5
10 reviews
"an extraordinary story"
The Sunday Times
"a memoir that is both heartbreaking and inspiring"
The Bookseller
"a searing memoir about being brought up in care"
The Times
"It is sensational stuff told with an elegant restraint that leaves the reader feeling some of the hurt, bewilderment and anger that he has endured"
The Sunday Times
"a searing and unforgettable re-creation of the most brutal of beginnings"
The Guardian
"a story of neglect, cruelty and, of course, immense courage"
Daily Mail
"a searing chronicle"
The Guardian
"A beautiful, sometimes heart-breaking but also helpful story"
"a powerful memoir of a childhood in the care system"
New Statesman
"a powerful indictment of our care system"
Literary Review

A memoir with a message - about growing up in care and finding hope, determination and creativity - from British poet and national treasure Lemn Sissay