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Lisa Marlowe

Join us for the sixth annual Bolton Lecture with Lara Marlowe. Lara has been a foreign correspondent for the Irish Times since 1996, working in France, the Middle East, the US and more recently in Ukraine. Before the Irish Times, she wrote for Time Magazine, the Financial Times and the International Herald Tribune.

Lara has covered many of the major events of our time, including four French presidents, the first term of Barack Obama and conflicts in Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied territories, former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia and the Central African Republic.

Lara has received three awards for her work for The Irish Times and holds degrees from UCLA, the Sorbonne and Oxford. France made her a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur for her contribution to Franco-Irish relations.

Lara published the best-selling memoir Love in a Time of War, My Years with Robert Fisk at the end of 2021. In this year’s Bolton lecture, she will talk about what she has learned from more than 40 years of journalism, including the 15 years she worked alongside the late Robert Fisk.

Lemn Sissay

As part of the extended Bolton Lecture Series this year, we are delighted to welcome Lemn Sissay to this year’s festival.

Lemn is a poet, playwright, artist performer and broadcaster. 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.

His memoir My Name Is Why reflects on childhood, self-expression and Britishness, and explores the institutional care system he was raised in, race, family and the meaning of home. His moving, frank and timely story is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity. The publication is a Sunday Times number one bestseller and has been listed as book of the year in The Times, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman and The Herald. He was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics and wrote the official poem for the FA Cup.

His Landmark Poems can be found on walls in public spaces around the world from The Royal Festival Hall in London to The British Council Offices in Addis Ababa and throughout his home city of Manchester. His Landmark poem `Gilt of Cain’ was unveiled by Bishop Desmond Tutu in The City of London: Sissay’s installation poem ‘what if’ exhibited at The Royal Academy and toured the world in galleries from Tokyo to New York.


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