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Benjamin Zephaniah - Author

About the Author

Poet, novelist and playwright Benjamin Zephaniah was born on 15 April 1958. He grew up in Jamaica and the Handsworth district of Birmingham, England, leaving school at 14. He moved to London in 1979 and published his first poetry collection, Pen Rhythm, in 1980.

 

He has been Writer in Residence at the Africa Arts Collective in Liverpool and Creative Artist in Residence at Cambridge University, and was a candidate for the post of Professor of Poetry at Oxford University. He holds an honorary doctorate in Arts and Humanities from the University of North London (1998), was made a Doctor of Letters by the University of Central England (1999)

Featured books by Benjamin Zephaniah

Other books by Benjamin Zephaniah

The Little Book Of Vegan Poems

The Little Book Of Vegan Poems

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/11/2019

Funky Turkeys

Funky Turkeys

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 29/05/2019

Brought to you by Penguin. Enter the crazy world of rap poet Benjamin Zephaniah! Funky Turkeys is the first audio edition of Benjamin Zephaniah's poetry collection for children - playful, clever and provocative - this is performance poetry on the page at its very best. An unconventional collection of straight-talking poems about heroes, revolutions, racism, love and animal rights, among other subjects, that will entice many new readers to poetry. Poems in this audiobook were first published in Funky Chickens and Talking Turkeys.

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah The Autobiography

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah The Autobiography

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2019

*BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week* Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 1980s when punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness and the National Front, Benjamin's poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations and on the dance floor. His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn't read books. His poetry was political, musical, radical and relevant. By the early 1990s, Benjamin had performed on every continent in the world (a feat which he achieved in only one year) and he hasn't stopped performing and touring since. Nelson Mandela, after hearing Benjamin's tribute to him while he was in prison, requested an introduction to the poet that grew into a lifelong relationship, inspiring Benjamin's work with children in South Africa. Benjamin would also go on to be the first artist to record with The Wailers after the death of Bob Marley in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela. The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah is a truly extraordinary life story which celebrates the power of poetry and the importance of pushing boundaries with the arts.

Funky Turkeys

Funky Turkeys

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/10/2018

Enter the crazy world of rap poet Benjamin Zephaniah! A reissue of the wonderfully irreverent collection of poetry for young people, touching on anything from vegetables to the Queen and from sewage to the sun. There's plenty of humour as well as poems on racism, pollution and the murder of a cat.

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah The Autobiography

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah The Autobiography

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2018

*BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week* Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 1980s when punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness and the National Front, Benjamin's poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations and on the dance floor. His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn't read books. His poetry was political, musical, radical and relevant. By the early 1990s, Benjamin had performed on every continent in the world (a feat which he achieved in only one year) and he hasn't stopped performing and touring since. Nelson Mandela, after hearing Benjamin's tribute to him while he was in prison, requested an introduction to the poet that grew into a lifelong relationship, inspiring Benjamin's work with children in South Africa. Benjamin would also go on to be the first artist to record with The Wailers after the death of Bob Marley in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela. The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah is a truly extraordinary life story which celebrates the power of poetry and the importance of pushing boundaries with the arts.

Gangsta Rap World Book Day 2018 edition

Gangsta Rap World Book Day 2018 edition

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/02/2018

WORLD BOOK DAY 2018 EDITION `Not for a long time have I read a book with such a pick me up again factor' - Independent on Sunday Just what do you do with talent from the wrong side of town? Benjamin Zephaniah draws on his own experiences with school and the music business to create a novel that speaks with passion and immediacy about the rap scene. Ray has trouble at home, and he has trouble at school - until he's permanently excluded and ends up sleeping on the floor of a record shop. What happens to a boy like Ray? If he's lucky, maybe he gets a chance to shine. The story of three boys who aren't easy. They don't fit in. They seem to attract trouble. But they know what they want, and they've got the talent to back it up ... Brilliantly written and with a real ear for dialogue, fans of Angie Thomas and Malorie Blackman will love Benjamin Zephaniah's novels for young adult readers: Refugee Boy Face Gangsta Rap Teacher's Dead

Face

Face

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/01/2018

In the moving and compelling debut novel from Benjamin Zephaniah, a young man's life is completely changed when his face is badly scarred in a car accident. Martin seems to have it all. He's cool, funny, and he's the undisputed leader of the Gang of Three, who roam their East London estate during the holidays looking for fun. But one night after the Gang leave a late night rap club, Martin accepts a ride from Pete, a Raider's Posse gang member. Too late, he realises that the car is stolen, and that the police are after them. What happens next will change Martin's life and looks, and show him the true meaning of strength, courage, discrimination and friendship. Brilliantly written and with a real ear for dialogue, fans of Angie Thomas and Malorie Blackman will love Benjamin Zephaniah's novels for young adult readers: Refugee Boy Face Gangsta Rap Teacher's Dead

Teacher's Dead

Teacher's Dead

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2017

For young people dealing with ideas in a post-truth world, Benjamin Zephaniah's story of violence, truth and the media is as powerful and pertinent as when it was first published. A teacher is dead, murdered by two of his students in front of the whole school. Right in front of Jackson Jones. But Mr Joseph was a good man - people liked him, respected him. How could those boys stab him and jog away like nothing had happened? Unable to process what he has seen, Jackson begins his own investigation: everyone knows who did it, but as Jackson uncovers more about the boys, he becomes convinced that people need to understand why. Brilliantly written and with a real ear for dialogue, fans of Angie Thomas and Malorie Blackman will love Benjamin Zephaniah's novels for young adult readers: Refugee Boy Face Gangsta Rap Teacher's Dead

Gangsta Rap

Gangsta Rap

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Just what do you do with talent from the wrong side of town? Benjamin Zephaniah draws on his own experiences with school and the music business to create a novel that speaks with passion and immediacy about the rap scene. Ray has trouble at home, and he has trouble at school - until he's permanently excluded and ends up sleeping on the floor of a record shop. What happens to a boy like Ray? If he's lucky, maybe he gets a chance to shine. The story of three boys who aren't easy. They don't fit in. They seem to attract trouble. But they know what they want, and they've got the talent to back it up ... Brilliantly written and with a real ear for dialogue, fans of Angie Thomas and Malorie Blackman will love Benjamin Zephaniah's novels for young adult readers: Refugee Boy Face Gangsta Rap Teacher's Dead

Refugee Boy

Refugee Boy

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Acclaimed performance poet and novelist Benjamin Zephaniah's honest, wry and poignant story of a young refugee left in London is of even more power and pertinence today than when it was first published. Life is not safe for Alem. His father is Ethopian, his mother Eritrean. Their countries are at war, and Alem is welcome in neither place. So Alem is excited to spend a holiday in London with his father - until he wakes up to find him gone. What seems like a betrayal is in fact an act of love, but now Alem is alone in a strange country, and he must forge his own path ... Brilliantly written and with a real ear for dialogue, fans of Angie Thomas and Malorie Blackman will love Benjamin Zephaniah's novels for young adult readers: Refugee Boy Face Gangsta Rap Teacher's Dead

Peace Inside A Prisoner's Guide to Meditation

Peace Inside A Prisoner's Guide to Meditation

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/04/2017

This moving book provides an inside-view of life in prison, and people's remarkable ability to make sense of their lives there as they learn to meditate. Drawing on years of intimate correspondence between prisoners and charity workers of the Prison Phoenix Trust, it traces prisoners' struggles through the harshest of circumstances to find authenticity, friendship and hope. This is not only an empowering guide for those in prison, but a testament to the liberating power of peace, which, in spite of all obstacles, can be unlocked within us all.

Talking Turkeys

Talking Turkeys

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2015

A reissue of TALKING TURKEYS by street poet Benjamin Zephaniah. Talking Turkeys is an unconventional collection of straight-talking poems about heroes, revolutions, racism, love and animal rights, among other subjects, that will entice many new readers to poetry. It is his very first ground-breaking children's poetry collection - playful, clever and provocative - this is performance poetry on the page at its very best. Benjamin Zephaniah was born in Birmingham and then spent some of his early years in Jamaica. He came to London when he was 22 and his first book of poetry for adults was published soon after. He appears regularly on radio and TV including a Desert Island Discs appearance, literary festivals, and has also taken part in plays and films. He is most well-known for his performance poetry with a political edge for both children and adults and gritty teenage fiction. His collections Talking Turkeys, Wicked World and Funky Chickens broke new ground in children's poetry. He is the only Rastafarian poet to be short-listed for the Chairs of Poetry for both Oxford and Cambridge University and has been listed in The Times' list of 50 greatest postwar writers. Benjamin now lives in Lincolnshire.

Terror Kid

Terror Kid

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/04/2015

Rico knows to stay away from trouble as best he can. But he's angry and frustrated at the injustices he sees happening at home and around the world. He wants to do something - but what? When he is approached by Speech, a mysterious man who shares Rico's hacktivist interests, Rico is given the perfect opportunity to speak out. After all, what harm can a peaceful cyber protest do...?

Rollercoasters: Teacher's Dead

Rollercoasters: Teacher's Dead

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 26/03/2015

A teacher is stabbed outside school by a student. Jackson, a young boy who witnesses the stabbing, goes on a personal quest to find out the motives behind the attack. Over the course of the investigation, Jackson forms an unlikely friendship with the victim's wife, has to face the murderer's mother and confronts the school bullies and their victims. Through all of this he invites the reader to reflect on the many factors that contribute to a crime being committed, and how we view crime. This Rollercoasters school edition of Benjamin Zephaniah's gripping novel is published in a durable flexi-cover format, proven to last longer in the classroom.

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