Lemn Sissay was seventeen when he wrote his first poetry book, which he hand-sold to the miners and mill workers of Wigan. Since then his poems have become landmarks, sculpted in granite and built from concrete, recorded on era-defining albums and declaimed in over thirty countries.

He has performed to thousands of football fans at the FA Cup Final, to hundreds of thousands as the poet of the 2012 Olympics and to millions across our TV screens and the airwaves of BBC Radio. He has become one of the nation’s best loved voices. Gold from the Stone, Lemn’s first collection in almost 10 years brings together both new and best loved works to form this career defining collection.

From poems inspired by the topics touched upon in his recent BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs such as his Ethiopian heritage and growing up as an ethnic minority in Lancashire, to words that reflect the ordinary, the love, hate, prejudices and politics of everyday life, Lemn’s voice is original, satirical, streetwise and funny.

About the author
An an award-winning writer and popular broadcaster as well as being the author of five poetry books, Lemn Sissay was made an Honourary Doctor of Letters by the University of Huddersfield and the University of Manchester. He was awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to literature and was the official poet for the London 2012 Olympics. He has worked throughout the world, is patron of the Letterbox Club, supporting children in care. Lemn’s work in the Arctic has featured at the Royal Academy and in galleries throughout the world. His Landmark poems can be found on buildings in London, Manchester, Huddersfield and Addis Ababa. In 2015 Lemn was appointed Chancellor of the University of Manchester and on July 1st he performed his poem “Listening Post” at a national ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of The Battle of The Somme. He is British and Ethiopian.



Approx 60 mins

Creative work details

Title: gold from the stone
Date Published:


Inventive, funny and touching
His name is magic, his poems are songs on the street’
Cinema Kings of The Road (18)

2 hr 55 | A film about friendship between Bruno, who repairs film projectors and travels along the inner-German border in his truck, and the psychologist Robert, who is fleeing from his own past.

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Cinema The American Friend (12A)

2 hr 6 | Jonathan Zimmermann believes that he will soon die of leukemia. The unscrupulous American Tom Ripley, learns of this and exploits Zimmermann’s illness for his own purposes.

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Cinema Wings of Desire (12A)

2 hr 8 | Guardian angels listen to mortals and attempt to comfort them but one of them wishes to become human after he falls in love with the beautiful trapeze artist.

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Cinema Paris, Texas (12A)

2 hr 28 | The story of Travis, a man who wanders out of Mexico and into Texas one day, in the blazing heat of the “Big Bend”.

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Cinema ROH Live: Il Trovatore (TBC)

3 hrs 25 | A devastating curse rises from the ashes in Verdi’s monumental tale of superstition and rivalry.

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Cinema ROH Live: The Sleeping Beauty (TBC)

3 hr 25 | Magic and fairytale characters are brought to life through ballet in this well-known family favourite.

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Cinema ROH Live: The Marriage of Figaro (TBC)

4 hrs | Director David McVicar brings out the revolutionary elements in Mozart’s great comic opera of intrigue, misunderstanding and forgiveness.

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Cinema ROH Live: Cinderella (TBC)

3 hrs | A new production of the much-loved Royal Ballet fairytale classic.

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Cinema ROH Live: Turandot (TBC)

3 hr 20 | Puccini’s final opera is a glorious pageant of rich colour, dance and drama in Andrei Serban’s classic staging.

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Cinema ROH Live: Like Water For Chocolate (TBC)

3 hr 10 | Christopher Wheeldon’s new full-length ballet brings the magic realism of this famous modern Mexican novel to The Royal Ballet.

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