Log-in
Books for Independent Thinkers 
Cart (0) £0.00 GBP

City Psalms

Published by Bloodaxe Books

ISBN: 9781852242305

£7.95
- +
Benjamin Zephaniah is an oral poet, novelist, playwright, children's writer and reggae artist. Born in 1958 in Birmingham, he grew up in Jamaica and in Handsworth, where he was sent to an approved school for being uncontrollable, rebellious and ëa born failure', ending up in jail for burglary. After prison he turned from crime to music and poetry. In 1989 he was nominated for Oxford Professor of Poetry, and has since received honorary doctorates from several English universities, but famously refused to accept a nomination for an OBE in 2003. He has appeared in a number of television programmes, including Eastenders, The Bill, Live and Kicking, Blue Peter and Wise Up, and played Gower in a BBC Radio 3 production of Shakespeare's Pericles in 2005.

Best known for his performance poetry with a political edge for adults ñ and his poetry with attitude for children ñ he has his own rap/reggae band. He has produced numerous recordings, including Dub Ranting (1982), Rasta (1983), Us and Dem (1990), Back to Roots (1995), Belly of de Beast (1996) and Naked (2004). He was the first person to record with the Wailers after the death of Bob Marley, in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela, which Mandela heard while in prison on Robben Island. Their later meetings led to Zephaniah working with children in South African townships and hosting the President's Two Nations Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1996.

His first book of poems, Pen Rhythm, was produced in 1980 by a small East London publishing cooperative, Page One Books. His second collection, The Dread Affair, was published by Hutchinson's short-lived Arena imprint in 1985. He has since published three collections with Bloodaxe: City Psalms (1992), Propa Propaganda (1996) and Too Black Too Strong (2001), the latter including poems written while working with Michael Mansfield QC and other Tooks barristers on the Stephen Lawrence case.
See more: Book
Scroll to top