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 Turkey, 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 East London.
Zephaniah is the reigning king of children's poetry... He has an unselfconscious relish for language and word-play that never strays into the patronising dee-dum-dee-dum-dee-dum territory of so much of children's poetry: his are poems that bounce up from the page and demand to be read, rapped, sung and hip-hopped aloud. * Independent on Sunday * This is poetry with attitude. * The Times * A delight to read aloud. * Brian Patten *