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In conversation with Benjamin Zephaniah and George the Poet - podcast


Benjamin Zephaniah and George the Poet aretwo of Britain’s most successful contemporary poets. They discuss why, despite being born a generation apart, their work is still exposing racial injustice

Benjamin Zephaniah became a poet at age 22, when he had his first poetry book published by a worker’s co-op in 1980. He believed poetry should be accessible and that readings should be as lively as gigs, so he started performing with a reggae band. George the Poet (real name George Mpanga), who was born in in 1991, rose to prominence first as a spoken-word poet, then a rapper and, more recently, a podcaster mixing narrative fiction, with contemporary news and rap.

Anushka Asthana talks to them both about growing up as young black men in England, the issues that inform their work and why the British empire’s legacy meant they have both turned down honours.

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