Jean "Binta" Breeze

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Jean "Binta" Breeze
JeanBintaBreeze.jpg
Pictured in 2007
Born 1956
Hanover, Jamaica
Occupation Writer, dub poet
Genre Poetry

Jean "Binta" Breeze MBE (born 1956)[1] is a Jamaican dub poet, and storyteller. She has worked also as a theatre director, choreographer, actor and teacher. She has performed her work around the world, in the Caribbean, North America, Europe, South-East Asia and Africa, and been called "one of the most important, influential performance poets of recent years".[2]

Biography[edit]

Breeze was born and raised in rural Jamaica, and studied at the Jamaican School of Drama in Kingston with Michael Smith and Oku Onuora.[3] She came to London in 1986, at the invitation of Linton Kwesi Johnson;[3] She taught Theatre Studies at Brixton College. She has since also written for drama in various media. Her first book of poetry, Ryddim Ravings, was published in 1988 by the Race Today Collective.[3] She went on to write the screenplay for Hallelujah Anyhow, a co-production of the British Film Institute and Channel 4.[3] She also released several albums, contributing to Woman's Talk (1986), and recording Tracks in 1991 with Dennis Bovell's Dub Band.[3]

She suffers from schizophrenia and has written poetry about what she herself calls "madness". In April 2006, on the BBC Radio programme The Interview, Breeze gave her perspective on mental illness and advocated increased attention to the needs of schizophrenics who do not have a "talent" like hers.

She now lives in Leicester, England.[4]

Honours and awards[edit]

In 2003 she was awarded a NESTA Fellowship of two years, to be held in Cambridge.

She is an Honorary Creative Writing Fellow at the School of English, University of Leicester.[5]

Breeze was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to literature.[6][7]

Works[edit]

Books of poetry[edit]

  • Answers (1983)
  • Riddym Ravings and Other Poems (1988) edited by Mervyn Morris
  • Spring Cleaning (1992)
  • On the Edge of an Island (1997)
  • Song Lines (1997)
  • The Arrival of Brighteye and Other Poems (2000)
  • The Fifth Figure (2006)
  • Third World Girl: Selected Poems (2011)

Albums[edit]

  • Riddym Ravings (1987), ROIR
  • Tracks (1991), LKJ
  • Hearsay (1994)
  • Riding on de Riddym (1997), 57 Productions
  • Eena Me Corner (2010), Arroyo Rec.

References[edit]

External links[edit]