Benjamin Zephaniah is one of Britain’s most well known poets. His career spans more than forty years across music, poetry, and children’s literature. Born in Birmingham, Zephaniah grew up in Handsworth, left school at the age of 13, and by 15 he had gained a reputation as a performing poet. It was in the early 80s, during prolific use of the SUS laws, high unemployment, homelessness, and the National Front, that Zephaniah rose to prominence as a protest poet, speaking out against racism and police brutality. In 2003 he was awarded an OBE, but turned it down on the grounds of being anti-empire. Zephaniah is also an accomplished poet for children, whose poetry collection Talking Turkeys (1993) was a number one bestseller, and a Young Adult fiction writer for with books such as Refugee Boy, Terror Kid and Windrush Child. Voted as one of the nation’s ten favourite poets of all times, Zephaniah is a regular broadcaster and a host of TV and radio programmes which cover issues across politics, society and culture. Zephaniah is a Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University. His co-created Life and Rhymes, which presents poets in a spoken word showcase, won a Best Entertainment BAFTA Award in 2021.