Benjamin Zephaniah to take up Keats House residency
24th January 2011
British-Jamaican poet Benjamin Zephaniah has accepted a residency at Keats House in north London.
Zephaniah, whose works include City Pslams, Refugee Boy and Face, will take up his first poet-in-residence role for more than ten years from May.
One of his first responsibilities will be to support the launch of the Keats Festival, which runs from May 28th to June 28th.
Other events planned throughout the year include a showing of his film Dread Poets' Society, which looks at Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and Lord Byron, as well as school visits to the house and open poetry sessions.
Zephaniah commented: 'I don't do residencies, but Keats is different. He's a one-off, and he has always been one of my favourite poets.'
The writer added that he hopes to use his residency to further his aim of bringing 'poetry to the people'.
Michael Welbank, chairman of Keats House management committee at the City of London Corporation, also claimed that Zephaniah is one of the 'greatest writers of modern times' and predicted he will be an inspiring influence on visitors.
Last year, Zephaniah joined fellow writers in a campaign to save London's libraries from threatened closure sparked by government spending cuts.