Vanessa Kisuule and Lemn Sissay impart their wide-ranging experiences for an unforgettable A Toast to the People performance.
Join Vanessa Kisuule and Lemn Sissay for an electric night of performance poetry and spoken word in the International Festival’s Old College Quad venue. Both artists bring their wealth of diverse experiences to the event, which promises to be a memorable one.
Bristol-based Vanessa Kisuule is a writer and performer who has won over ten slam titles, including The Roundhouse Slam 2014, and has featured on radio and TV. She was Glastonbury Festival’s Resident Poet in 2019 and her recent poem on the historic toppling of Edward Colston’s statue, Hollow, went viral, gaining over 600,000 views on Twitter in three days. Kisuule is currently working on an essay collection and her debut novel.
She is joined by Lemn Sissay, a BAFTA-nominated, international prizewinning writer who was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2010. He has read on stage throughout the world: from the Library of Congress in the United States to the University of Addis Ababa, from Singapore to Sri Lanka, Bangalore to Dubai, from Bali to Greenland and Wigan library. Along with Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie and Margaret Atwood, he won a Pen Pinter Prize in 2019. He is Chancellor of the University of Manchester and holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Huddersfield, Manchester, Kent and Brunel.
A Toast to the People brings together two spoken word artists, each performing their own set of performance poetry that includes a specially commissioned piece inspired by Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson’s ‘A Toast to the People’. Following their sets, the two artists take part in an exclusive discussion about their work and the pervading issues and themes of today.
Please note that Safiya Sinclair was originally scheduled to perform on this date. We are very grateful to Lemn Sissay for stepping in to replace her.
In partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival
Made possible through the PLACE programme
Nadine Aisha Jassat Host