Skip to content


Lemn Sissay to launch 100 years of the Tavistock and Portman

Award-winning poet, playwright and broadcaster Lemn Sissay will launch the Tavistock and Portman’s festival of events online this Wednesday with Chief Executive Paul Jenkins MBE.

Launching our online festival 100 years of the Tavistock and Portman, Lemn Sissay will discuss his experience of growing up with a white foster family and in care in England in the 70s. The acclaimed poet will address the different narratives that colour experience and the importance of developing your own narrative about who you are and of finding your voice.

Exploring voice, identity and difference, expert Tavistock and Portman clinicians Dexter Benjamin, Sheena Webb and Karen Izod will then enter into a panel discussion about the insights provided by Lemn, convened by Paul Jenkins.

The online festival 100 years of the Tavistock and Portman will celebrate the Tavistock and Portman’s history and explore contemporary issues in relation to identity, relationships and society. It will consider how we continue to draw on our heritage to provide valuable responses to contemporary and future problems from the perspective of equality and inclusion.

Tavistock and Portman Clinical Psychologist and Centenary programme Chair, Louise Lyon, says:

“We are truly delighted the renowned writer Lemn Sissay will be launching 100 years of the Tavistock and Portman festival and sharing his extraordinary story with us.

“Members of the public, students, alumni and present and former staff are warmly invited to what promises to be a lively and stimulating discussion and launch.

“We are living in remarkable times. We could never have imagined the upheaval that 2020 would bring to our centenary year. Following the pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, we are seeing unprecedented changes and are living through ‘history’. New questions and perspectives are emerging about race, gender, power and class.

“Our online festival comes at a hugely relevant time of examining who we are from the perspective of equality and social justice. This is a chance to engage with us from psychoanalytic and systemic perspectives on these issues. I very much hope you will join us on this important journey.”

Taking place from October 2020 – April 2021, the Tavistock and Portman’s online festival 100 years of the Tavistock and Portman will host ground-breaking talks and seminars on the history of the Trust and contemporary issues of the day.