England / 2008
The son of Barbadian and Jamaican immigrants to England, Zephaniah injects his cultural upbringings and language into his poetry. He questions the traditional English canon and opens the possibility for a new kind of understanding of what is “acceptable” poetry. He bravely departs from “standard English.” All his work is inspired by Rastafarianism and the music and poetry of Jamaica, in particular. Zephaniah began performing and writing poetry at age 11. He also writes novels and teen/ children’s books. In 2008 he was included in The Times list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers. This is just an excerpt from the poem. Check his work out! He has a ton of cool performances on YouTube.