Zephaniah, Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal (1958– )

English poet, novelist, performer, and cultural commentator. In 1983 he released his
first poetry album,
RASTA. Other albums include Free South Africa (1986), Back to
(1995), and Belly of De Beast (1996). His novels include Face (1999) and
Refugee Boy (2001), both written for young adults.
He self-published his first pamphlet of poetry,
Pen Rhythm, in 1980. He then
became involved with performance poetry, touring extensively in the UK. His
subsequent collections of poetry include
The Dread Affair: Collected Poems (1985),
which contained a number of poems attacking the UK legal system;
Too Black; Too
(2001); and We Are Britain! (2002). In 2003, Zephaniah turned down the offer
of an OBE from the Queen, saying that it reminded him of thousands of years of
oppression and brutality.