On Wednesday I went to see Lemn Sissay read from his latest book Listener. Although I’ve seen Lemn read quite a few times in the last four or five years, I realised this was the first event that I’d been to with Lemn & only Lemn on stage. As with any of his performances, you get the tardmark moves: stories about the poems, stopping a poem and starting it again when he feels he can do better, and brave emotional poems next to funny and political poems. This combined with Lemn’s energy really do challange you to listen not only to the poems but to everything in between, the banter between poem and audience, the laughter, and your own thoughts after hearing each poem. And with a longer set, I felt more moved in this reading than when I’ve seen Lemn previously. Particularly by the poems that have come out of his appearances on Radio 4’s Saturday Live programme. One that I’ve never get tired of hearing is Red Sky Dawn, which was written for a pregnant woman trapped in her house during a flood. It’s the second poem in the video.
Are You Listening? Lemn and only Lemn.