Born in Birmingham in 1958, Zephaniah grew up in Jamaica and in Handsworth, where he was sent to an approved school for uncontrollable, rebellious and ‘a born failure’, ending up in jail for burglary. After prison, he turned from crime to music and poetry: ‘I started writing poetry because I didn’t like poetry.’

As a reggae DJ in Handsworth, he refused to mimic other toasters with their chants about Jamaican life, instead turning … More

Born OTD in 1792, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley’s poetry & prose output remained steady throughout his life, most publishers and journals declined to publish his work for fear of being arrested for either blasphemy or sedition. Shelley’s poetry sometimes had only an underground readership during his day, but his poetic achievements are widely recognized today.

Jeremy Corbyn brought Shelley’s classic political poem back into the public eye when he quoted the final stanza during the … More

Tod Prince has spent ten years trying to write the life of Rex Dedman, a minor 1930s poet, communist, womaniser & drinker. Tod’s publisher – who knew Dedman in the Spanish Civil War – wants to settle old scores. As the book nears completion, Tod is visited by Dedman’s ghost, demanding major revisions to his life,

Ghost Writer is a literary detective-story featuring a cast of assorted ghosts, spies, poets, bad drivers and hopeless lovers. It’s … More