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Lemn Sissay

Blood

January - December 2014

THE VERBAL ARTS CENTRE, DERRY / LONDONDERRY

Blood

The internationally-renowned writer and artist Lemn Sissay collaborated with Derry-Londonderry’s local communities to create new poetry, public art and performance. See below for Lemn Sissay’s new poem At all.

Lemn Sissay makes books, records, public art and plays. His Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London, in venues including the Royal Festival Hall. He was part of the London 2012 Festival, for which he placed poetry in the Olympic Park. He is associate artist at Southbank Centre, patron of The Letterbox Club and The Reader Organisation, and an inaugural trustee of World Book Night.

The Verbal Group, made up of Lagan Press, Sevengate Digital Publishing and the Verbal Arts Centre, is the only organisation of its kind in Ireland.  Focused on reading, writing, speaking and listening, it provides all members of the community with the opportunity to tell their story and engage with the stories of others.

 

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Verbal.

The internationally-renowned writer and artist Lemn Sissay collaborated with Derry-Londonderry’s local communities to create new poetry, public art and performance. See below for Lemn Sissay’s new poem At all.

Lemn Sissay makes books, records, public art and plays. His Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London, in venues including the Royal Festival Hall. He was part of the London 2012 Festival, for which he placed poetry in the Olympic Park. He is associate artist at Southbank Centre, patron of The Letterbox Club and The Reader Organisation, and an inaugural trustee of World Book Night.

The Verbal Group, made up of Lagan Press, Sevengate Digital Publishing and the Verbal Arts Centre, is the only organisation of its kind in Ireland.  Focused on reading, writing, speaking and listening, it provides all members of the community with the opportunity to tell their story and engage with the stories of others.

At all. a poem by Lemn Sissay

Someone has bricked up The Foyle.
The hands of dawn crawl across it
I’m drawn through the window
Into the air under a bruised sky.
It’s still a river.  It’s a still river.

They’ll make it a heritage site soon enough.
That’ll take time. There’ll be a Brick Festival.
What I like most is the work, the skill,
For each corner to match and the trenches,
For the gentle pressure and slowness of drying.
How many did it take…. to make this…
Symmetrical wonder of capillary and flesh stone?
Someone bricked up The Foyle.

Like most rivers the water runs beneath.
Last night  a woman – I shouldn’t say her name –
decided enough was enough.  She’s on the bricks now.
She skips “That’s us”  she shouts “That’s us”
A new echo has formed.

The banks are lined with trowels, mixers and string
Mist lifts and darkness unveils the sun. Footsteps,
First two then more and many many more
Running down the roads we know so well
Down down down to the banks of The Foyle

Here we are
Standing both sides and along the bridges.
Not a word. Not words.   Not words at all.  Not any words.

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Verbal.

Less

Dates, Times & Locations

The Verbal Arts Centre
Stable Lane and Mall Wall
Bishop Street Within
Derry / Londonderry
Northern Ireland
BT48 6PU

Partners

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