May 25, 2024

IWA mourns British writer Benjamin Zephraniah

  • December 12, 2023
  • 2 min read
IWA mourns British writer Benjamin Zephraniah

By Editor

THE International Writers Association (IWA) today expressed its profound sadness at the passing of Benjamin Zephaniah, the acclaimed British writer, dub poet, and actor. Zephaniah, who passed away on December 7, 2023, was a prolific writer and performer whose work spanned across poetry, novels, plays, music, and film. He was a recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the BBC Young Playwright’s Award and honorary doctorates from various universities. His work was known for its searing honesty, lyrical beauty, and unwavering commitment to social change.

“The literary world has lost a powerful voice and a tireless advocate for social justice,” said Wole Adedoyin, President of the IWA. “Benjamin Zephaniah was a true literary giant whose work touched countless lives around the globe.”

Born in Birmingham, England, in 1958, Zephaniah drew inspiration from his own experiences of racial prejudice, class struggle, and incarceration. His work addressed issues of racism, poverty, war, and injustice with unflinching clarity and raw emotion.

Benjamin Zephraniah

Beyond his literary achievements, Zephaniah was also a passionate advocate for human rights and social justice. He was a committed vegan and animal rights activist, and a vocal critic of inequality and oppression. He also served as a witness at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, a powerful testament to his unwavering commitment to truth and justice.

“Benjamin Zephaniah was more than just a writer,” said Adedoyin. “He was a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who believe in the power of words to change the world. He will be deeply missed, but his legacy will continue to inspire and empower generations to come.”

The IWA joined the literary community worldwide in mourning the loss of Benjamin Zephaniah, whose words will continue to resonate with readers and audiences for years to come, reminding us of the importance of speaking truth to power and fighting for a better world.

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