From Oscar Wilde’s cell to The Royal Albert Hall. The past 15 days (280)

This blog covers  the past 15 days of a total of  280 days since my installation as Chancellor at University of Manchester.  These are the highlights.  I will shape my blogs in this way until the first year ends.   This blog is not full of official commitments in my role as chancellor but I am using the installation to mark time. So let’s begin.  On July 8th I visited the prison  where Oscar Wilde was jailed for two years. IMG_8256

It’s for a once in a lifetime event organised by Artangel.  I will be reading Wilde’s  De Profundis  in Reading  prison (it’s empty)  before it is demolished. Also there are specially commissioned artworks by Ai Weiwei and Steve McQueen.  It’s gonna be major.  New York TimesMTE5NTU2MzE2NDA1MjcwMDI3
I travelled to Manchester and on July 9th in Rochdale I  gave awards to Care Leavers.

where I heard  Richard Mcann.  I would walk barefoot through glass to hear him speak again.  He was in care too.  The next morning On Sunday  10th July I receive  NESTA recognition as one of fifty new radicals. It’s announced in The Observer Newspaper.
Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 08.44.52 and that night I read poems  at The Kinara festival in Nelson in deepest Lancashire
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I interviewed Bob Marley’s photographer Dennis Morris for a BBC radio documentary I’m making .
On  12th July I found myself front page news in The Leading Daily Danish Newspaper.  I still haven’t got a translation but my friend Katrine says it reads well.
It   happened via a genuinely inspiring conversation with a Danish  journalist who interviewed me in a walk and talk between my hotel and University of Manchester.
On 13th I interviewed  Chris Salewicz at Battersea Park where Marley played football for my Bob Marley programme for  BBC Radio 4 .IMG_8334
Then to New Broadcasting House  to record The World Wakes, a new poem on Graphene  for The Arts Show on BBC radio 2
On 14th I finished a commissioned poem for the founder of  Glimmer of Hope then I traveled to Cobham  in  Surrey to inspire & be inspried at a conference on children’s services.
That evening of 14th BBC  Radio 3  broadcast ‘World Wakes’ on The Arts show presented by Jonathan Ross.  On 15th July a young woman says hello at Shoreditch House. A year ago  this was her tweet. It’s my favourite.
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Still 15th July  I travel to The Southwell poetry festival in Nottingham. Sold out. Beautiful.
On 17th July at 5am  I wake and  present the paper review on BBC Breakfast.
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Then I have  breakfast with my friend Dave Haslam wearing the T-Shirt which is now available to you. Click here.IMG_8449
And then still on 17th I travel to Wirral  to perform at Festival of Firsts. I wake 5am on 18th. IMG_8510
A highlight of my 15 days was at my book signing after this reading. A blind man stood in the queue.   He has practiced Buddhism for many many years. He asked if he could read me his eight line poem.  Here is an extract of what  “Blind Al” read to me

“The truth of the matter is
(And it’s plain as day to me)
I have more vision now
Than when I could see”

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And travel from Wirral  to The Royal Albert Hall for rehearsals. Here I am with Ten Pieces anchor Naomi Wilkinson. I’ll explain later on what this is about .
Tuesday 19th I leave London for   Manchester to give students their degrees. This makes me extremely  proud.
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Wed 20th is taken up with some incredibe meetings at UNiversity of Manchester including Professor Danielle George who scanned my head for a 3 d printer.  They will be making a Robot violinist with my head. This was voted above other heads at The Cockroft Rutherford Lecture.  This is just one scan of many  IMG_8641
I meet some incredible graduates ofcourse
and then at 6pm  I attend the Alumni Association welcome event. An event in my name   held at  The glorious Manchester Museum. I speak with gratitude to the alumni and a sense of responsibility exemplified by the work I have done today.
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21st at dawn I travel from Manchester   back to The Royal Albert Hall for more rehearsals. I over heard the seasoned presenter Naomi Wilkinson say of her work in Chidrens TV  “it’s like I’ve won the lottery.” Then there was a pause and she said  “And I’ve been doing it for seventeen years”. This is me at rehearsals trying to fight off tiredness
On 22nd rehearsals again  from 10am until 1pm.  Dion Dublin is here!! He’s co-presenting.. This is a  favourite picture of Dion Dublin making me feel like a star
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And this one he took of the entire team with all the dancers.  It’s a great pic cause it catches the vibe entirely.  Cn-LZZwWIAADm-F
After this rehearsal finished at 1pm I I left for  Manchester  for the press launch of Graphene – Adventures in Wonderland at The Museum of Science and Industry. This is part of the film at the exhibition which features my poem The World Wakes
And later I  read The World Wakes at the launch then off to my beloved Malmaison
I am sorry I coud not attend the meal at The Museum.  I returned  to my beloved Malmaison hotel woke at 5am and by 9am I’m back at The Royal Albert Hall. By 11am The audience are in and the first of two proms  begins The Cameras are on.
Tomorrow we’ll be at the proms again. It will   broadcast live on iplayer at 4.30pm on JULY 24TH. Thanks. That’s been my last 15 days. And I love it. I absolutely love it.  Most of all I love rehearsals because it offers the opportunity to be better. Go figure.

4 thoughts on “From Oscar Wilde’s cell to The Royal Albert Hall. The past 15 days (280)

  1. goodness Lemn you certainly are a man on the move !Continue to spread good will ,wise thoughts and wonderful worlds to enlarge the minds of all you meetxxx

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