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 ... more »

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  • analporn (5/12/2020 9:53:00 AM)

    great website with all his poems

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  • julie doyle (5/6/2020 1:19:00 PM)

    THANK YOU BENJAMIN ZEPHANIAH for being brilliantly you

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  • Dolly (4/18/2020 10:48:00 AM)

    I like your poems because they actually rhym

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    ...And in Kerala it is KathakaIi and Mohiniyattam

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  • SiyaP (2/7/2020 12:29:00 PM)

    I really like his poems - especially the Talking Turkey! ! ! ! They have great morals and lots of humour! ! !

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Best Poem of Benjamin Zephaniah

Talking Turkeys!

Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas
Cos' turkeys just wanna hav fun
Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked
An every turkey has a Mum.
Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas,
Don't eat it, keep it alive,
It could be yu mate, an not on your plate
Say, Yo! Turkey I'm on your side.
I got lots of friends who are turkeys
An all of dem fear christmas time,
Dey wanna enjoy it, dey say humans destroyed it
An humans are out of dere mind,
Yeah, I got lots of friends who are turkeys
Dey all hav a right to a life,
Not to be caged up an genetically made up ...

Read the full of Talking Turkeys!
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