22 days of my life. Hair cuts & Baggage.

This is Subrina.  She cuts my hair .
The afro has gone. But it went the  day before a BBC broadcast ‘Portrait of..” (click pic)
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In which I have an Afro. The portrait is  in The Foundling Museum
This came though.  These things inspire me. It’s the reason I’m Chancellor: to inspire.
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The next day I delivered a keynote at the launch of Teach First Summer Institute.  Teachers are under pressure.  They need  support.  Teach first puts them first.
I popped in to my university to see the award winning communications  team
Then  to see On Corporation St at HOME and  hang with friend & actor Yusra Warsama.
That evening I met Sally Lyndsay. Sally kindly helped The Christmas Dinner.  IMG_7416
And I had a special meeting with World Champion Geoff Thompson
Kate Tempest told me about a special poet from Manchester.  So I go see him at  Band on The Wall in manchester.
I speak at  The Ramadan Tent Project on the university of Manchester campus.
I am proud to be part of a university that looks like this. I REALLY am.
The next day I meet The Education people to record script for an online resource
In my role as Chancellor I chair the General Assembly of The University of Manchester.
Later in the evening a speech by John McGrath the artistic director of MIF.
Back to London for a day and then straight to France to a bilingual literature festival  Here are three different generations each involved in a different way with my reading.
I loved this  french excursion. The reading was a blast. The referendum was not.
And then straight back to Manchester where baggage handlers managed to ruin my bags
I spoke  at The Heads Leadership conference in Cheshire. I felt inspired by them.IMG_7764


Then straight back to London. (Flybe have telephoned and organised to pick my bag.) I gave the Keynote for Artsworks at Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre.  Thanks to Murray Freestone for the photo.

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Then I legged it back to Manchester  on the Pendellino train. This poster was on a wall.
the proofs for my new and selected poems are waiting at The Malmaison HotelIMG_7835
The next day I wake at 5am. I’m on  Breakfast TV at 8.30am in Media City.
In the evening I read Listening Post at Heaton Park. You can see the gig by clicking here. 
On the same day  TED NPR  (my favourite podcast)  decided to repeat my interview

I spent the weekend in Manchester writing script. On Sunday JUly 3rd BBC Radio

On July 4th  I read poems at Macclesfield Academy to young people in transition week..
On Tuesday July 5th  I visit Sheffield and spend the day with my friend Julie Stewart
at The Childrens Media Conference then  I gave the keynote address:  It is the UK’s premier meeting place for the children’s content industries.
It was an audience  at the top of their game at the top of their industry.  Then I was taxi’d  to the station and onwards:I wake the next day  in a different country.
July 6th is an historic day for Wales:  At ten in the morning  I ‘m sat with fifteen young people. They suffer anxiety.  I show them how to make poems. And  they do.
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On the way home back to England I receive this. It’s a limited edition. It’ll be on sale soon at University of Manchester.  Look out on Facebook for the link.
On  7th July I am in Brighton at 10am  to judge the creative future literary awards.  This is a unique prize  and I love it.  It is for the marginalized  and unheard.
Then back to London to BBC  to interview  Linton Kwesi Johnson about Bob Marley for a BBC radio programe I am presenting.
By the time I get home the insurance company make an offer and say I can use their offer to  buy particular luggage.  But I don’t want to buy their luggage. I want mine.
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Each day between 5am and 10am I try to write an original morning tweet. Here are two. The one above is about Brexit and the one below is about The Somme.
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I know these posts are uninspiring. They are lists of what I do. I’ll stop them when it’s reached a year since my instalation as Chancellor at The University. Nearly there. Then I’ll get back to writing blogs. Thanks. But finally…. finally honest….just a couple of days ago I received these two photographs from my childhood from a guy  called Mark English – his mum actually. I am grateful. They are immediately precious to me.

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26 thoughts on “22 days of my life. Hair cuts & Baggage.

  1. I heard you read your poetry in Mytholmroyd at the high school theatre. I think you are inspiring on many fronts. I am an adult adoptee born in 1967. My daughter is dual heritage and we both love literature and word craft. I’m also a northerner and think you are a fine ambassador for northern talent

  2. Lemn! Your morning poems ARE inspiring. Always in simple form, with a relevant message – and teamed up with the beautiful photos you publish with them, they start the day off on a positively thought-provoking track. If you stop producing them, at least publish them in book form

  3. Wow! Far from uninspiring Lemn! This list inspires me to not be so lazy with my gift and passions. Not sure if you got any sleep in between those days, but I hope rest is coming soon…all work and no play…though it does look like work with wonderful playtime 🙂 Continued best wishes!

  4. What a busy schedule you had? You continue to inspire us with your energy and dedication. Hope you had time to look after yourself too.

  5. Hi Lemn,
    That was some 22 days!
    During those days, I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend to go with her to the opening of David Hockney’s exhibition at the Royal Academy, “82 portraits and a still life”. But we decided to make it 83, and went to see your portrait first. It is brilliant- it really gets you – I had her take my photo with you – I’d post it here but can’t work out how!

  6. What a great blog and terrific schedule. Lovely to see St Clementin featured too. Thank you for inspiring us Lemn. Bon courage!

  7. I want to say something articulate about all you do, but feel stuff instead, so from the bottom of my heart and the depth of my guts, thank you Lemn and I love you❤

  8. goodness lemn I am out of breath just reading of all your activities !may you continue to find the strength,energy and vigour to continue inspiring many many more people and brightening their lives x

  9. Lemn – unbelievable routine, I’ve witnessed you speak and it was incredible as is your profound devotion to the people. I read poems from ” listener ” and “morning breaks In the elavator” on a daily basis, they continue to inspire me so they never get to meet the bookshelf. Thanks for being you. Peaceful and Passionate.

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