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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. Benjamin Zephaniah is an internationally renowned performance poet and acclaimed author of bestselling YA novels: FACE, GANGSTA RAP, TEACHER’S DEAD, REFUGEE BOY and TERROR KID.

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). Benjamin lives in Lincolnshire.

Featured books by Benjamin Zephaniah

Talking Turkeys

Talking Turkeys

9+ readers

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/08/1995

Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.  A thought provoking and wide reaching collection of poetry for children that explodes from the page begging to be read aloud.  

ebook of the month

Other books by Benjamin Zephaniah

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

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

Peace Inside A Prisoner's Guide to Meditation

Peace Inside A Prisoner's Guide to Meditation

Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/04/2017

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

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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