Bloomsbury | 07 Dec 2023

We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Benjamin Zephaniah, one of the most brilliant and influential writers of his generation.

Bloomsbury is proud to have been the publishers of some of his most powerful writing for young people, including Refugee Boy, which was also adapted as a play. In his novels for young people, as in his poetry, Zephaniah tackled vital themes that continue to resonate long after their first publication, over 20 years ago. His identity and his vivid performances had a hugely positive impact on our reading culture, particularly for young people.

Rebecca McNally, Bloomsbury Children’s Publishing Director and Editor-in-Chief, commented on the author as “hugely charismatic and original as an artist and as a person. He was someone whose voice always made you stop and listen, whether it was on the page, stage, tv or radio. We are hugely grateful that he used that voice so powerfully in his important and lasting work for children and young people.”

His immense contribution to literature will be enjoyed for generations to come, as we continue to read his work and celebrate his legacy.

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