Booka Bookshop are thrilled to present an evening with Lemn Sissay, one of Britain’s best loved, award-winning poets and performers, who will be joining us to talk about his highly acclaimed memoir, My Name is Why.

How does a government steal a child and then imprison him? How does it keep it a secret? This story is how.

At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a foster family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.

This is Lemn’s story: a story of neglect and determination, misfortune and hope, cruelty and triumph.

Sissay reflects on his childhood, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation’s best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.

Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation’s best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity. We’re delighted to welcome Lemn to Oswestry!

Tickets: £10 without book (redeemable against a signed copy of My Name is Why) or £17 with book (includes a signed copy of My Name is Why). Tickets available from the bookshop or purchase online (with booking fee)