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Benjamin Zephaniah

(Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah)
UK flag (b.1958)

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is a British Rastafarian writer and dub poet. He is a well-known figure in contemporary English literature, and was included in The Times list of Britain's top 50 post-war writers in 2008.

Zephaniah has said that his mission is to fight the dead image of poetry in academia, and to "take [it] everywhere" to people who do not read books.

He turned down an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2003, writing in The Guardian, "I thought, OBE me? Up yours ..."

Genres: Young Adult Fiction
   Pen Rhythm (poems) (1983)
   The Dread Affair (poems) (1985)
   Talking Turkeys (poems) (1994)
   Funky Chickens (poems) (1996)
   Propa Propaganda (poems) (1996)
   City Psalms (poems) (1997)
   School's Out (poems) (1997)
   Funky Turkeys (poems) (1999)
   Wicked World! (poems) (2000)
   The Little Book of Vegan Poems (poems) (2001)
   Too Black, Too Strong (poems) (2001)
   We Are Britain (poems) (2002)
   Soul Feathers (poems) (2011) (with Maya Angelou, Leonard Cohen, Carol Ann Duffy, Bob Dylan, Seamus Heaney and Sharon Olds)
   When I Grow Up (poems) (2011)
   I'll Be Home For Christmas (2016) (with Tom Becker, Holly Bourne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Melvin Burgess, Katy Cannon, Cat Clarke, Tracy Darnton, Juno Dawson, Julie Mayhew, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick and Lisa Williamson)
Series contributed to
Anthologies edited
Non fiction
   Inna Liverpool (1992)
   J Is for Jamaica (2006)
   To Do Wid Me (2013)
   The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah (2018)
   Voices for Change (2020) (with Anne Barr, Suzannah Evans, Danuta Reah, Ken Reah and Mary Sarjeant)
   Windrush Child (2020)
   Nature Trail (2021)
Benjamin Zephaniah recommends
Noughts and Crosses (2001)
(Noughts and Crosses, book 1)
Malorie Blackman
"Intelligent, emotional and imaginatively wicked."
The Marlowe Papers (2012)
Ros Barber
"The best book I've read for a long time. Truly innovative, truly original, and a powerful poetic journey to another truth. Ros Barber has told a great story, in a fascinating way, so fascinating that she had someone like me gripped to the very end. This really is a joy to read and a true work of art."
The Beekeeper of Aleppo (2019)
Christy Lefteri
"This novel speaks to so much that is happening in the world today. It’s intelligent, thoughtful, and relevant, but very importantly it is accessible. I’m recommending this book to everyone I care about."
The Infinite (2020)
(Leap Cycle, book 1)
Patience Agbabi
"The Infinite is so adventurous that it lit up parts of my brain I didn't know I had. Patience Agbabi has caused a wonderful supernova deep in the literary universe . . . Elle is curious, questioning and fearless. What an inspiration. The future just got so much better."
Open Water (2021)
Caleb Azumah Nelson
"This is an amazing debut novel. It's a beautifully narrated, intelligently crafted piece of love that goes deep, then goes deeper. You should read this book. Let's hear it for Caleb Azumah Nelson, also known as the future."

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