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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Comments about Benjamin Zephaniah

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  • lil pump (6/17/2018 6:16:00 AM)

    he can rhyme better than me

  • D’anton (6/13/2018 7:57:00 AM)

    He is very funny and likes reggae

  • elysha (6/6/2018 4:37:00 AM)

    really good
    love that song

  • loly pop (5/24/2018 5:54:00 AM)

    I love this dude he is a rastaferian [3

  • trh56 (5/22/2018 10:49:00 AM)

    he is such a great poet.

  • bobobbob (5/22/2018 8:19:00 AM)

    I am in class getting facts about him he is 60

  • scott (5/16/2018 5:42:00 AM)

    car to hopedall
    i luf yoowprick

  • David Cartledge (4/29/2018 2:54:00 AM)

    I once heard a Benjamin Zephaniah reciting one of his poems, maybe on BBC Newsnight. There was a refrain something like, I love the grey I'm here to stay. My wife and I loved it and want to find it.

  • LilKitty (4/25/2018 8:55:00 PM)

    i need to know.... like very soon...... or any poems about magic?

  • LilKitty (4/25/2018 5:06:00 PM)

    or even magic? ? ? like my school is having a costume thing soon and i need to find a poem to match my costume (a benjamin zephaniah poem) and my costume is luna lovegood from harry potter

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Best Poem of Benjamin Zephaniah

The British

Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.

Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.

Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,
Vietnamese and Sudanese.

Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, Nigerians
And Pakistanis,
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.

Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, ...

Read the full of The British
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