A Life of Rhyme – A Tribute to Benjamin Zephaniah

Thursday, May 9, 2024

On behalf of the people of Liverpool, Writing on the Wall are proud to host a tribute to Benjamin Zephaniah, pioneering dub poet, lyricist, musician, and revolutionary, who passed away in December 2023, aged 65.  Liverpool was a special place to Benjamin. In the mind 1980’s, following a smear campaign by the S*n Newspaper, he was offered a year-long residency in Liverpool 8. He said the support meant a lot to him at difficult time.  Benjamin was a regular guest at WoWFEST. He appeared alongside Levi Tafari and Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze in a celebration of Dub poetry called ‘Inna Liverpool with Friends’, delivered an unforgettable ‘Rebel Rant’ in St George’s Hall Concert Room; brought his band, The Revolutionary Minds to District for a high energy performance as part of WoW’s Black History Month celebrations, and launched his autobiography during WoWFEST at the Philharmonic Hall. 

Benjamin was often described as the ‘People’s Poet’, a title earned through his brilliant poetry, his energy and connections he made wherever he went. He brought poetry down from the ivory towers, making it accessible to all. He became a household name, appearing on talk shows often as a political commentor, making his own TV programmes, and playing a preacher in the Peaky Blinders series. Popularity did not compromise his principles and he continued to speak truth to power, calling for social justice whether it be for Palestine, victims of racism, or the future of the planet. 

This tribute to Benjamin will be hosted by Co-Director Madeline Heneghan and led by Citizen of Honour, poet Levi Tafari, Benjamin’s friend and collaborator over many decades. Michael Rosen, one of the nation’s most loved children’s author and poet, will join us to celebrate Benjamin’s life. There will be performances from a younger generation of Liverpool poets, including Amina Atiq, Blue Saint, and Claire Beerjeraz, who are part of Benjamin’s immeasurable legacy.  

 

 

Michael Rosen is one of Britain’s best loved writers and performance poets for children and adults. His first degree in English Literature and Language was from Wadham College, Oxford and he went on to study for an MA at the University of Reading and a PhD at the former University of North London, now London Metropolitan. He is currently Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London where he co-devised and teaches critical approaches to reading on an MA in Children’s Literature, having done the same at Birkbeck, University of London. He has taught on MA courses in universities since 1994. He was the Children’s Laureate from 2007-2009 and has published over 200 books for children and adults, including the recent bestseller Many Different Kinds of Love and On The Move. 

Levi Tafari – Liverpool-born Levi Tafari is the author of three poetry collections: Duboetry (1987), Liverpool Experience (1989), and Rhyme Don’t Pay (1998). His plays have been performed at the Unity Theatre and the Playhouse in Liverpool, as well as at the Blackheath Theatre in Stafford. He has also worked on educational projects running creative writing workshops with many different groups. He has also appeared in many television programmes including Blue Peter and Grange Hill, and made a well-received film about Rastafarianism for BBC television’s Everyman programme entitled The Road to Zion. 

Amina Atiq is a published poet, performance artist, practitioner and award-winning community activist, and anti-racism advisor for Curious Minds & Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres. She was a BBC Words First Finalist and awarded Steve Biko Young Achievers; she was featured in 100 Inspirational Women of Merseyside and Future List 2022 of Northern Woman awards. She is poet in residence at University College of London & Norfolk Ponds Project, working on the secret Life of Ponds and of Museum of Colour, These Things Matter Exhibition. She is also Artist fellow of Metal Culture, producing a new upcoming creative campaign, HijabSpeaks. In 2020 she produced a short documentary, Unheard Voices, capturing the stories of Yemeni shopkeepers. 

Blue Saint is a Congolese and British, Liverpool-based rapper, singer-songwriter, designer, poet, spoken word artist and producer who blends hip-hop, RnB and soul to create a style that is both introspective and infectious. His honest and vulnerable lyrics, paired with his smooth delivery, have garnered him a dedicated following in Liverpool and beyond.  

Claire Beerjeraz is a Liverpool based free-lance Spoken Word Artist and Creative Psychotherapist. She has worked with the many local Liverpool organisations on multiple pieces of work, giving her the opportunity to perform at the Everyman Theatre, Hope Street Theatre and Tate Liverpool. Claire is passionate about combining therapy with expressive arts and works with local charity YPAS as a Creative Children’s Psychological Therapist.  

Palm House, Sefton Park  

Liverpool L17 1AP 

7pm 

Pay what you can afford. Suggested donation £5 

Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Vegan Society and Inquest. 

Event Details

Date: May 9, 2024
Time: 7:00 pm

You may also be
interested in

Three Minutes to Save The Planet

Date: May 2, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

Buckled by Helen Jeffery

Date: May 3, 2024

8:00 pm

Find Out More

Jon Ronson: Things Fell Apart

Date: May 3, 2024

7:30 pm

Find Out More

The Welsh Connection

Date: May 4, 2024

7:30 pm

Find Out More

Stephen Small: In the Shadows of the Big House

Date: May 7, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

Sarah P Corbett: Craftivism as a form of Gentle Protest

Date: May 7, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

Lights Bearing West: Book Launch, with Tony Wailey

Date: May 8, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

Turning a Book into a TV Series – Ashleigh Nugent

Date: May 8, 2024

7:30 pm

Find Out More

A Life of Rhyme – A Tribute to Benjamin Zephaniah

Date: May 9, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

Danny Morrison: The Dirty War

Date: May 9, 2024

6:30 pm

Find Out More

Irvine Welsh: 30 years of Trainspotting

Date: May 10, 2024

8:00 pm

Find Out More

Salena Godden: With Love, Grief and Fury 

Date: May 11, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

The Banned Book Club: Taking a Stand Against Book Bans

Date: May 13, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

It’s The End of The World and They Knew It: Dystopia – Then vs. Now

Life imitates art in unexpected ways, especially when it comes to dystopias. From the realms of science fiction to the harsh realities of today, we witness the convergence of fiction and fact: robots and AI, surveillance states, global wars, government oppression, natural disasters and mass poverty.  The Liverpool University Special Collections and Archives: Science Fiction …

Date: May 13, 2024

11:00 am

Find Out More

Pity: Andrew McMillan, with Paul Farley

Date: May 14, 2024

6:30 pm

Find Out More

Polari at Writing on the Wall

Date: May 15, 2024

7:30 pm

Find Out More

Your Local Arena – George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four

Date: May 16, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

Our Hands, Our Mouths – Poverty and Resistance

Date: May 17, 2024

4:00 pm

Find Out More

Rewriting the Future: Workshop with Francesca Beard

Date: May 17, 2024

11:00 am

Find Out More

Creative Heritage Day at WoWFEST24

Date: May 18, 2024

12:00 pm

Find Out More

Leechcraft with David Ward  

Date: May 19, 2024

1:30 pm

Find Out More

Warn Them of the Danger – Raymond Waring

Date: May 20, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

Peace for Palestine

Date: May 21, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

Luke Wright’s Silver Jubilee

Date: May 22, 2024

8:00 pm

Find Out More

From Page to Stage – online workshop with Helen Jeffery

Date: May 23, 2024

11:00 am

Find Out More

Beyond A Radical Practice: A Bright Future for Primary Care?

Date: May 23, 2024

7:00 pm

Find Out More

An Evening with Jackie Kay

Date: May 24, 2024

7:30 pm

Find Out More

Banned Book Club: Writer’s Marketplace

   

Date: May 25, 2024

11:00 am

Find Out More

Jah Wobble: Memoirs of a Geezer

   

Date: May 25, 2024

7:30 pm

Find Out More

Beatrix Campbell: Secrets and Silence

   

Date: May 29, 2024

6:30 pm

Find Out More

The Haunted Body Workshop with Joelle Taylor

Date: May 29, 2024

2:00 pm

Find Out More

Joelle Taylor: The Night Alphabet

Date: May 30, 2024

8:00 pm

Find Out More