Lemn Sissay and Benjamin Zephaniah on Indie Book Awards list

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Two books by leading poets are on the shortlist for the Indie Book Awards, it was announced today. They are Lemn Sissay’s memoir My Name Is Why, and Benjamin Zephaniah’s children’s novel Windrush Child.

Lemn Sissay’s book tells of how, at the age of 17, after a childhood in a foster family followed by six years in care homes, ‘Norman Greenwood’ was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.

Benjamin Zephaniah’s Windrush Child shows what it was like to be a child of the Windrush generation. Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in Southampton. His father is a stranger to him, it’s cold and even the Jamaican food doesn’t taste the same as it did back home in Maroon Town. But his parents have brought him here to try to make a better life, so Leonard does his best not to complain, to make new friends, to do well at school – even when people hurt him with their words and with their fists.

The award winners will be announced by the end of May.

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