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Professor Benjamin Zephaniah
Professor - Creative Writing

Gaskell Building 137


Professor Benjamin Zephaniah was one of the pioneers of the performance poetry ‘scene’ in Britain. He was part of the ‘school’ known as the ‘Dub Poets’, these were poets that work alongside reggae music. He has spent most of his life performing around the world in schools, universities, concert halls, and in public spaces.

His poetry is noted for mixing serious issues with humour, and being accessible to a wide range of people. He is able to perform in children’s nurseries or political rallies, and his strongest area of interest is looking at how poetry works in performance and its relationship to music.

He has also written novels for young adults, and plays for radio and stage. Although his music is rooted in reggae, his recordings now have many influences including, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Dubstep. He contributes to many radio programmes and has presented documentaries on radio and television concerning literature, culture, race and politics.

He has been writer in residence at Keats House (London), Memphis State University, Ohio State University, and also worked at Shanghai Tongji University, The Women’s University Seoul, Pyongyang University North Korea, University of Witwatersrand Johannesburg, and visiting professor at De Montfort University. He has also worked with The University of Birmingham and The Open University encouraging young people to take up higher education.

His recent releases include a music album called Revolutionary Minds, and his autobigrahpy, The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah, which was sortlisted for both the National Book Awards and the Costa Book Award. His TV show 'Life and Rhmyes, on Sky Arts won a BAFFTA in its first year and then went on to win the Venince TV award.

Newest selected publications

Zephaniah, B. (2018) 'The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah The Autobiography'. London: Simon and Schuster (Scribner UK). ISSN 10: 1471168948 ISSN 13: 9781471168949


Zephaniah, B. (2015) 'What the English could learn from the Eisteddfod.'. BBC Wales Web SIte.

Journal article

Zephaniah, B. (2013) 'Pass on your Passion'. Teach Primary.

Journal article

Zephaniah, B. (2012) 'Liam'. Collins Educational. ISSN 10: 0007464851 ISSN 13: 9780007464852


Zephaniah, B. (2012) 'The Police Don't Work for Us'. The Guardian.

Journal article
More publications(25)