Cities are written about all the time but how have they written us? This gala brings poets Lemn Sissay, ArunDitha, and Yomi Sode together in poetic response to how we occupy space, the names we go by, the way we belong or don’t belong. When home is the city that chews us up and spits us out, these poets show us how they are the sound coming out of its mouth.
Yomi Ṣode is an award winning Nigerian British writer. His debut collection Manorism was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2023 and the T S Eliot Prize 2022. He was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2021, and received the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship in 2019. In 2020 his libretto Remnants, written with James B. Wilson and performed with Chineke! Orchestra premiered on BBC Radio 3.
In 2021, his play, and breathe… premiered at the Almeida Theatre.
Lemn Sissay OBE is a BAFTA nominated International prize winning writer, poet and broadcaster. He was awarded an OBE for services to literature and charity by The Queen of England in 2021. He also holds, The Pen Pinter Prize (2019) and a Points of Light Award (2017) and is currently a Visiting Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge. Much of his work is based upon his own lived experience and how experiences from childhood shape our adult lives.
ArunDitha (b.1988) is a techno-shamanic writer and performance artist who puts maca in their morning cacao. They have performed their poetry locally and at festivals worldwide. They were resident writer/artist at Literarisches Colloquium Berlin and The Watermill Center NY. Their co-creations have been commissioned by the Goethe-Institut and the Barcelona International Poetry Festival. They currently sings/loops with Mantravine and Kiat, and co-organises Opens, a post-disciplinary para-academic forum.
Melizarani T. Selva is a Malaysian writer and spoken word poet. Her first book, Taboo is a poetic interrogation of the Malaysian Indian Identity. She is the co-editor of The Second Link - A Malaysia-Singapore Literary Anthology by Marshall Cavendish and co-published When I Say Spoken, You Say Word! a collection of 100 poems by 61 poets from Malaysia. Her debut play Kudumbam was staged at T:>Works Singapore's 24-Hour Playwriting Competition 2021 winners showcase. Find her @melizarani.