Treasure Island

Benjamin Zephaniah

(15 April 1958 / Birmingham)

Benjamin Zephaniah
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Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is a British Jamaican Rastafarian writer and dub poet. He is a well-known figure in contemporary English literature, and was included in The Times list of Britain's top 50 post-war writers in 2008.

Life and Work

Zephaniah was born and raised in the Handsworth district of Birmingham, which he called the "Jamaican capital of Europe". He is the son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse. A dyslexic, he attended an approved school but left aged 13 unable to read or write.

He writes that his poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls "street politics". His first performance was ... more »

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  • S B (5/6/2014 4:44:00 PM)

    love all of his work. strong themes

  • Paul Smith (11/10/2013 9:06:00 AM)

    Benjamin: I love your work. You express universal themes in simple language. You have a voice all your own.

  • Jetty J Newnham (10/3/2012 2:38:00 PM)

    Benjamin Its Black history month I for one will make sure I enjoy reading Benjamin, also Langston Hughes Maya etc, I enjoy your poetry man peace

  • Lalaine Rebamonte (9/5/2012 8:16:00 AM)

    Mr. Zephaniah,
    I am Lalaine B. Rebamonte, from the College of Education in the University of Cebu-LapuLapu and Mandaue, Philippines. We have chosen your poem SOS (Save Our Sons) for our Literature class to be analyzed as it gives striking stand of a brave person. Since our subject is in line with Literary Criticism, I would like to inform you that there are analyses gathered from our class. There will be different comments with your work and I hope you will be able to give feedback with regards to our comments.

    Very Truly Yours,
    Lalaine

  • Agostina Etcheverry (11/2/2011 5:45:00 AM)

    I really like this poem because it gives a positive message for people who don't have hope camila gouffier

  • Agostina Etcheverry (11/2/2011 5:41:00 AM)

    The truth the poem is very londo since it has a positive message that gives before any difficult situation :) and that seems to me unlikely that critoque already qie it is necessary to be in this sotuacion to be able to act like Mariano J. Panza

  • Agostina Etcheverry (11/2/2011 4:53:00 AM)

    i think that it's awesome that he said in the poem.. he's so positive and..he's right! if you know about his life you can understand that you don't have to worry for bad things or bad situations...only for the good things and be happy with that... and he is original and don't follow the rules.. A TRUE ARTIST!

  • Lynda Finn (11/1/2011 12:27:00 AM)

    I think BZ's poetry is superb and shows a remarkably refreshing use of the English language. People who criticise poetry and poets tend to be those who don't understand them or the reason they were written.
    In my Poetry Analysis classes, I teach people to see what the poem says and then what it means and why the writer used those specific words rather than others. Once that knowledge is acquired, without exception, they vote Benjamin's poetry very highly indeed.
    English, like any other language was made to be used and changed and appreciated.
    I suspect the critics are wandering lonely as a cloud!

  • Robert Gould (2/14/2010 4:36:00 PM)

    benjamin i respect your view point, but i have to say its not only black people who
    are scared to walk the street, s for fear of injustice, also steven lawrence, s
    murder is not the only murder inquiry that the old bill have bungled
    far from it ask timothy evan, s or the guildford four, , , ,
    if young black, s want to protest against wrong doings, , ,
    they should find a platform not take it out on the man or woman on the street
    which is so often the case......

    take care
    fellow, , ,
    truth teller

  • Dianna Muddiman (11/19/2009 4:04:00 AM)

    Benji, Benji ur di best. We like ur poems bezzer den di rest!

    We are amazed by your creative poems and we we love the messages that you are sending out.

    The messages in your poems are inspiring us to think again about eating animals. When we read Talking Turkeys we found that it wasn't just a good message, it also made us laugh and smile.

    We hope that you write more fantastic poems.

    Yours
    Miss Muddiman's and Mrs Walsh's Year 6 Literacy Booster Group 2009/2010 Barnfield School

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