Benjamin Zephaniah – Poet, Novelist and Children’s Writer
Benjamin Zephaniah struggled with school, leaving at the age of 13. He did not know he was dyslexic or learn to read and write until he became an adult. This did not stop him from becoming an extremely successful poet. He talks openly about his dyslexia to increase understanding and contributed to the RASP (Rebelling Against Spelling Press) anthology Forgotten Letters. You can see him in the documentary about dyslexic writers and storyteller on our Writers page.
In addition to poetry he has written, songs, plays, novels, nonfiction and children’s books. His poems are taught in schools and he has worked as a TV presenter.
Benjamin Zephaniah he has won many awards, including the BBC Young Playwright’s Award. He has honorary doctorates from a wide range of universities. He was listed at 48 in The Times’ list of 50 greatest postwar writers and has been repeatedly rated as one of the most influential British poets of all time in BBC poles. He was offered an OBE, but rejected it as he felt it was incompatible with his beliefs.
You can find out more about Benjamin Zephaniah and his work at: benjaminzephaniah.com
Books by Benjamin Zephaniah
We are Britain
Primary Rhyming Dictionary
J is for Jamaica
When I Grow Up
The Little Book of Vegan Poems
Too Black, Too Strong
School’s Out: Poems Not for School
The Dread Affair: Collected Poems
Playing the Right Tune
Listen to Your Parents
Face: The Play
You can watch Benjamin Zephaniah talking about his experiences with dyslexia and writing in the Dyslexia International interview below.