Lemn Sissay, poet: One minute interview

Sissay will be performing at the Bradford Literature Festival in May

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I am in Derry/Londonderry at The City Hotel. Through the square window I can see The Foyle river and The Peace Bridge. Both are a force of nature.

What are you currently reading?

The Last King of Kings of Africa: The Triumph and Tragedy of Haile Selassie I. It's written by Asfa- Wossen Asserate, a relative of the emperor. I'm interviewing Asfa at the Bradford Literature Festival. Being Ethiopian and British, it's helping me understand my own family.

Who is your favourite author?

Well, this is interchangeable depending on the time of day but a regular favourite of mine is Allen Carr. I return to his great book time and time again. It's called Allen Carr's Easyway to Stop Smoking.

Where do you usually write?

I write all over the place. This past six months I've used Starbucks in Angel to write but the best room is the third floor of my apartment. It has a glass ceiling and glass doors which open onto the roof. It gets jealous when I go to the café.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Most definitely Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She's fierce. She's relentless in pursuit of justice. She does it her own way.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Sabeen Mahmud, director of T2F. T2F is an independent venue for free thinking and free speech in Karachi, Pakistan. It's very popular. On the way home last week, Sabeen was gunned to death because of an event T2F dared to programme.

Lemn Sissay will be performing at the Bradford Literature Festival, a festival of words and ideas, taking place from 15 to 24 May. Visit bradfordliteraturefestival.co.uk

Comments