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.
Sissay reflects on a childhood in care, 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.
Lemn Sissay is an award-winning writer, poet, performer, playwright, artist and broadcaster. He was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Huddersfield and the University of Manchester and was awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to literature. He was the official poet for the London 2012 Olympics and poet of the FA Cup. He has worked throughout the world and is patron of the Letterbox Club, supporting children in care.