Born in the Handsworth district of Birmingham in 1958, Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is, it says on his website, "a poet, writer, lyricist, musician and trouble maker".
His powerful poetry is heavily influenced by the poetry and music of Jamaica. A writer and performer of poetry from an early age, he left school at the age of 13 and his passionate writing soon gained him a following in his home town.
After moving to London aged 22, he saw the publication of his first book Pen Rhythm, which brought dub poetry into the mainstream.
Since then, he has performed for Nelson Mandela and with musicians as diverse as The Wailers, Howard Jones, Sinead O'Connor and has become a noted children's author.
"I want to bring new voices to the listeners," he says. "I want to bring new listeners to the programme. Most of all, I want to impress my mum. She thinks I'm not working hard enough."
Benjamin Zephaniah is guest editing BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 31 December 2012. Other guest editors include Sir Paul Nurse, Melinda Gates, Dame Ann Leslie and Al Murray.
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