Lemn Sissay's Challenges

Day 8 – The Actual


Our three collaborators, Lemn Sissay, Yomi Adegoke and Jess Thom have each selected 31 challenges from the hundreds that were sent in from people of all ages and backgrounds across the country.

Every Friday, everybody will come together to do the same challenge!

Today’s challenge is from Inua Ellams! Born in Nigeria in 1984, Inua Ellams is an internationally touring poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist & designer.

“I am a poet and a playwright, and I wanted to set a challenge that falls in step with a book of mine that came out last year, called “The Actual”. I can’t wait to see how you rant, where you rant and what you do rant about”


Inua’s book “The Actual” is a collection of poems that explore the big things happening in the world that affect him on a personal level.

Take a few moments to reflect on the big things happening around you – can you think of a specific story or experience that demonstrates how it affects you?
Can you find the words to turn that specific story into a poem? Your poem can be as long, short or detailed as you would like.

This video contains swearing, so it might not be appropriate for all audiences. Watch Inua’s video, or read the full transcript by clicking here.


Who would you like to read your poem?


Join the conversation online by using the hashtags #TheJanuaryChallenge #64MillionArtists, and tag us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Get your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours involved by sharing your poems with them.