When a building becomes a book of my morning tweets.

The award winning arts centre Storyhouse  is  the canvas for my morning tweets.  They are  tatooed onto the skin of the building.  “Lemn Sissay, artist in residence for this year’s Chester Literature Festival, has transformed Storyhouse into a poetry book.” Here are  some photographs but there are many more monring tweets throughout. You must visit to see them all.  Storyhouse is in the historic city of Chester.  Reading the first one at the entrance is virtually impossible.

It won’t make sense unless you look up on your way out. 

Let’s go inside but before we do I want to share something.  You may or may not know that I attempt an original poem/tweet/thing   every morning. I am fully aware that sometimes they don’t work. But sometimes they do. And I try my best and people do read them all over the world.

Sometimes they are magical.  Sometimes they are not.  But I make the attempt.  It’s difficult to capture the scale of the building or the beauty of it.

When I see them together I feel how happy they are to have found their physical  place after flying through the digital one.

I hope that moments are remembered through being near one of the poems.

Quiet moments.

Loud moments

Ascending and descending moments.

All I have is words

But to see them like this, (They are as  happy to be ignored as  read as am I),

Fills me with pride and joy.  Many people on facebook and twitter have read them over the years and I’d like, here, to thankyou. 

Thanks most of all to the great staff and artistic director at Storyhouse.

28 thoughts on “When a building becomes a book of my morning tweets.

  1. This is stunning Lemn. You must be happy! Looking at these photos jogs my memory of when I read that tweet, what it meant at the time… much like music does ( I can still see and hear Pet Shop Boys West End Girls playing like it was yesterday… it was years ago and I was lying in bed on campus on my first night away at uni – scared and excited all at once). Similarly your tweets have taken on that quality.. they have become part of the fabric of many of our lives ( that’s not dramatic – it just is so!). We miss them wheh they are not there but we know there’ll be a reason why not. Thank you for these lovely morning words. I’m so happy that Chester have captured some of them. X

  2. Love this. Shall have to visit Chester now!
    Your reading in Tod was great- so much so that I had to buy the script to be sure it was scripted, because it seemed so different from when I saw it last year. The actual difference was that last year we had the last available tickets at a theatre in the round, so barely saw your face. Amazing that it changed the way I received the play so much. Although I did find one word different – on p23, paragraph 1, it says “becoming” – in the play you said beginning, which makes more sense, so I think becoming is a misprint.
    Love Judith

  3. Wonderful. I used to work in Chester and I know LOTS of folk there will want to go in and just let the words in. Hope you’re well. Have the TV set for “remind me!!” for Wednesday evening at 10. Can hardly wait. Mx

      • I’m absolutely certain will be terrific. Been following comments From those involved. Needs to reach the high-ups though, where all sorts of agendas are running apart from the one that’s called WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?! We need to meet…. as ever. Mx

        • This is what will happen as far as I can see it. There will be a noise for a few days and then it will blow over. I have very specifically seeded the idea, in interviews and in the show, tht there is an unchallenged ‘prejudice’ against the child in care. This idea of prejudice agains tthe chid in care is one which I want to take hold in our society. it will take years for it to embed the idea if at all. It was the same with the idea of superheroes and that has still not taken hold in wider society but these ideas must be seeded somewhere.

          • There’s more going on than we know or see, the optimist in me witnesses. LAs guaranteeing jobs/homes/ongoing guidance & more vitally pulling politicians’ chairs face to face with care leaving YP AND children looked after, & insisting the politicians listen & act; v senior Officers insisting on senior reps at graduations of CL young people. Acorns not oak trees I know. And long awaited as well. Never, ever lose faith. Ever. Hear? Ever. X

            • I’m very much aware of the changes. I’d go so far as to say that never in my lifetime has their been such awareness of the plight of the child in care. However I am not as interested in the slow process of change in a government full of dysfunctional adults housed guarding a dysfinuctional care system. There’s no use fixing a roof if the foundations are rotting. The real prejudice against the child in care lies with wider society. That’s were change needs to happen. There is a prejudice against the child in care which is held outside (and within) government. I still thank David Cameron for putting children in care into his conference speech in 2015 (was it 2015). I can see that as a real point of change.

              It happened because of people like BECOME (Who Cares), NAYPIC, BIC, A national Voice, The abuse claims across the country (Rotherham, Oxford, Leeds, Jersey and more) and the APPG on children in care and my lobbying in The Houses of Parliament. And you. The childrens rights movement for children in care stretches back to the early eighties and is documented in a brilliant book called Care Less Lives by Mike Stein. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Care-Less-Lives-rights-movement-ebook/dp/B009VJXU44

              It’s all good. What is most exciting for me is the development of the arts as an option for young people in care. The work of Bi House Theatre. The work of The Arts Council of England. The work of Battersea Arts Centre and the one up scheme at Derby Theatre. These changes are bringing hidden stories and overt opportunities to yung people in care and that is just magnificent. And it is only beginning.

  4. Dear Lemn,

    It feels so good to see your work in the best spots. I was imagining the words dancing and talking to each other when the place is quite and no one around.
    Thank you for inspiring generations.


  5. Your words have truly found a wonderful place to ring out their message. Amazing how architecture and poetry complement eachother so well. You leave a trail of sparkling words wherever you go. X

  6. this is great: you need your own museum Lem Sissay! I’m just making a museum of flight…starting at the bottom of the stairs and going..who knows where for my daughter…architect on maternity leave…(lines of flight in architecture), my grandson, nearly seven loves paper planes, my osn(typo, I’ll leave it in in the spirit of the story house!) in law who makes and paints planes to take a breather from a very stressful job in health and for me who wants always, like you to reach and touch more people, more of the time. The greetings of the season and every season to you. With lots and lots of good wishes!

  7. As a night shift worker, all I want to do when I get home is to get my pyjamas on – jump into bed – and read one of your morning poems – such a lovely way to drift off to sleep x

  8. I visited the Storyhouse for the first time yesterday to se a play. I was so taken with the poems that I sought out the librarian to see if there was a book of them. They found it for me, I wrote down the details and as soon as I got home I ordered a copy. Can’t wait to read it. You are definitely my kind of poet. I can’t wait to go back to the Storyhouse, I found it a calm, inspirational place even though there were lots of people about.

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