When I met renowned poet and Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Lemn Sissay by chance in the reception at Manchester Museum, I was struck by his calm and his strength, but also his kindness. We were delighted that he gave us permission to publish one of his poems for Black History Month last November.

Stories from the Museum Floor

Today’s Story from the Museum Floor is one about forging and reclaiming identity. It is a poem that looks to the past, but is anthemic of living in the present and looking to the future. It is a song that both whispers and screams a story of belonging, a story of difference, a story of Manchester.

October is Black History Month. It is a celebration of showcasing both black history and black excellence. Manchester has a strong global heritage, and a proud sense of place, and we are delighted to be able to celebrate our diversity and our histories with a poem by Lemn Sissay, the Chancellor of the University of Manchester.

IMG_6074“To Manchester with Love” Lemn Sissay ©


(Written by Lemn Sissay for performance)

Have you seen the churches of lalibella
Swam in the warm springs of Addis Ababa
Have you heard the reaching Nile

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