Lemn Sissay at Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre

Lemn Sissay's performances are legion. His books are published by Bloodaxe, Bogle L'Ouverture and Payback, including the recent Morning Breaks In The Elevator. His recording work includes collaborations with a number of jazz-fusion outfits including Secret Society, Working Week, Left Field and Disjam. A new selected spoken-works CD, Different Drums, is due out from 57 Productions in 2000.


My residency was organised on the opening week of The Phoenix Arts Centre. The centre re-opened with new design layout etc. The place had that "new" feeling which seemed to run both through the staff and the users; it was all very exciting. And a lot of the artwork had the "ooooo" factor. The new dust hadn't settled.
However I was given a room and was given the school children and gave the workshops. This was my job. Some of the workshops did go beffer than others. This is true. And some of the teachers were more supportive than others as is always the case. On the whole I was pleased with the childrens work and their levels of concentration. Very pleased. At some point in each workshop they got to see the Centre. They had to come in and go out. I think I should have used the Centre more as source material for the workshops. And I think this is what I was supposed to do. I had the same group for all the day which was a luxury and meant I could work through stuff with them. The arts Centre certainly had a REAL buzz about it and there was a sense of occasion.


Young Poets Network