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(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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  • 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

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