Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin is not just a poet, he is a novelist, children’s author, actor, television presenter, musician, activist and much more.

Benjamin Zephaniah cannot remember a time when he was not creating poetry. His poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls ‘street politics’. By the time he was 15 he had developed a strong following in Birmingham where he had gained a reputation as a young poet who was capable of speaking on local and international issues. In the early 1980s, Zephaniah’s poetry could be heard on demonstrations, at youth gatherings, outside police stations, and on the dance floor.

It was once said of Benjamin that he was Britain’s most filmed, photographed, and identifiable poet. The mission was to take poetry everywhere: he was out to popularise poetry by reaching people who did not read books, and those that were keen on books could now witness a book coming to life on the stage. This poetry was political, musical, radical, relevant and on TV.

Periodically Benjamin’s band, The Revolutionary Minds, takes to the road.  His latest album is also called Revolutionary Minds, and he has just finished recording 3 tracks with the renowned electronic music producer Moby. He has written plays for radio, TV and stage, curated exhibitions at the South Bank Centre and The National Portrait Gallery, he is an actor, social commentator, and then there is Benjamin Zephaniah the children’s poet. His first book of poetry for children called Talking Turkeys had to go into an emergency reprint after just 6 weeks due to its immense popularity. Recently he has published 4 books for children. A novel, Windrush Child, and the poetry books, We Sang Across the Sea, Nature Trail, and People Need People.


Benjamin Zephaniah appears in the following sessions. Select a session to find out more:
Benjamin Zephaniah and Liz Berry have a chat
Sat 4th March 2023

Want to hear Benjamin Zephaniah?

If you’d like to see Benjamin Zephaniah speak at this year’s Malvern Festival of Ideas, you can book onto their session(s), or get tickets to a wide range of talks.