Poet Benjamin Zephaniah believes in images as well as words

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
Poet Benjamin Zephaniah believes in images as well as words: his latest book, J is for Jamaica, is a collaboration with London borough of Newham English teacher and photographer Prodeepta Das, in a series of photo essays for primary schools published by Frances Lincoln. Plus he has curated We Are Britain, a small photographic exhibition to complement his book of poems with the same title (also published by Frances Lincoln). Four themes close to Zephaniah's heart are packed into the selection: British Muslim life, animals, people with facial disfigurements and 1970s and 1980s pop icons. The portrait of Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens (pictured), does two jobs at once. There's also Blondie, Siouxsie and the Banshees and a rather stunning ostrich.

The exhibition opened last year at Manchester Art Gallery: catch it at London's National Portrait Gallery until September 10, and book a free ticket on 020 7306 0055 for a lecture by Zephaniah at 7pm on September 7.

Opposite the entrance is NPG's new 3-D portrait of JK Rowling by Stuart Pearson Wright, which shows Harry Potter's creator pondering over a plate of boiled eggs.

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