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Benjamin Zephaniah Attends Workshop at REGO

April, 2011
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poet-ben-at-rego-sMany people may not have heard of Benjamin Zephaniah prior to his visit to Shanghai Rego International School (REGO) last week, but there was no doubt that he made an impact on all who met him. 

Benjamin Zephaniah is a well-known author of poetry such as ‘I Love My Mummy and My Mummy Loves Me’ and ‘Rong Radio’ and novels such as ‘Face’ and ‘Teacher’s Dead’. He spent the whole day with REGO primary and secondary students. It was an amazing opportunity to meet a real author, and especially one who has been very influential in the development of modern literature in the UK (and who some teachers had studied as a students!).  

What’s great about Benjamin Zephaniah is his ability to relate to everyone through his writing and his warm and generous personality. In the morning, he enthralled primary where her performed some of his poetry for the whole school and where he was thrilled to find that Mr Donnelly’s class knew his poetry better than he did. Primary students also presented him with a collection of poetry they had written, and he was very impressed by the thoughtfulness of REGO’s smallest students.

In secondary, Benjamin first performed for invited students in Years 7-9, who enjoyed his poetry so much they giggled themselves into a parallel universe. Students asked him some interesting questions about the process of writing, and how he chose this career. Later, he performed for the upper school where he answered questions about the influences on his writing, and what it’s like to have his work studied by students.  Finally, he performed for the whole secondary school on assembly where the students felt his enthusiasm and respect for the love of words.

It was an unbelievable opportunity for the students at REGO, with Benjamin’s infectious passion for literature and his belief in the importance of language a timely reminder for us all.

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