Gold from the Stone – Lemn Sissay

A career-long retrospective of the poems of Lemn Sissay, who went from selling poetry collections to Wigan mill-workers to having his work painted on the sides of Manchester buildings to being the poet of the 2012 Olympics.

Sissay’s poems burn intensely, whether he is writing about love, the weather, writing and rhythm, his experiences as a child in the care system, or about daily encounters with prejudice and racism. He can make you laugh and cry in the same stanza: essential and devastating reading.

Don’t bandage my words around the wrong bruises.
Don’t sell yourself to the hoard of accusers.
Don’t generalise what you can’t bother to question.
Don’t smash the mirror without seeing the reflection.

from Burn My Book (Burn In Illusion)