Born and raised in Birmingham, England, Benjamin Zephaniah is a dub poet who had already gained a local reputation for his spoken word by the age of fifteen and at twenty-two moved to London to share his work with a wider audience. Heavily influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica, his first collection was published in 1980, and he has continued to write and perform since, with thirteen poetry collections to his name in addition to many books aimed at younger readers and an extensive discography.
Zephaniah’s work was born from both his experience of ‘street politics’ and his understanding of global issues surrounding race, class and injustice. His poetry has been shared widely in libraries, on stages, television screens and on the streets; he remains living proof that poetry – particularly spoken word – has an important part to play in politics and protest.
Poet's website: https://benjaminzephaniah.com/