10 Interesting Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah

You should have known one of these following facts about Benjamin Zephaniah, since he was very famous among English people. He indeed had an important role on English literature. He, as you know, is an English writer, dub poet and Rastafarian. He was included in “The Times” list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers in 2008.┬áHis role on dedicating his life on literature then directly brought him to fame. Therefore, to get to know more about him, below are other facts about Benjamin Zephaniah you may consider interesting, especially for those who are really interested in literature.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 1: Birth

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.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 2: Influences

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 in church when he was eleven, and by the age of fifteen, his poetry was already known among Handsworth’s Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah - Benjamin Zephaniah

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah – Benjamin Zephaniah

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 3: Views

In 2003, Zephaniah was offered the Order of the British Empire, but publicly rejected it. His reasons for rejecting it was because of he got angry when he heard the word “empire”. It reminded him of slavery, thousands or years of brutality and reminded him of how his foremothers were raped and his forefathers brutalized.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 4: Achievements

Zephaniah won the BBC Young Playwright’s Award. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of North London in 1998, the University of Central England in 1999, Staffordshire University in 2001, London South Bank University in 2003, the University of Exeter and the University of Westminster in 2006. On 17 July 2008 Zephaniah received an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah - Achievement

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah – Achievement

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 5: Albums of Original Music

He has released several albums of original music. He was awarded Best Original Song in the Hancocks 2008, Talkawhile Awards for Folk Music (as voted by members of Talkawhile.co.uk) for his version of Tam Lyn’s “Retold” recorded with The Imagined Village.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 6: Works

He had successfully published more than 50 works of Literature as he appreciated so much of Literature. One of the most famous works is “Talking Turkeys” which was collected and published by Puffin Books and was reprinted after six weeks.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah - January 2008

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah – January 2008

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 7: The Album “Rasta”

His album Rasta, which featured The Wailers’ first recording since the death of Bob Marley as well as a tribute to Nelson Mandela, gained him international prestige and topped the Yugoslavian pop charts.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 8: Life Mission

Zephaniah has said that his life mission is to fight the dead image of poetry in academia, and to “take [it] everywhere” to people who do not read books.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah - Benjamin Zephaniah in red

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah – Benjamin Zephaniah in red

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 9: First Book of Poems

Zephaniah published his first book of poems, Pen Rhythm, in 1980. It was so well received that three editions were published.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah 10: Marriage

Amina Zephaniah became his wife after they lived together for several months.

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah - Talking Turkeys

Facts about Benjamin Zephaniah – Talking Turkeys

Through his collection of poems, you may able to read other facts about Benjamin Zephaniah and how he had an inspiration during writing. Those mentioned facts are only a little part of Benjamin Zephaniah’s life to support and appreciate literature in his life. Hope you found those Benjamin Zephaniah facts interesting and useful.

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