UK

Poet and author Benjamin Zephaniah dies aged 65

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah has died (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Poet Benjamin Zephaniah has died (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) Poet Benjamin Zephaniah has died (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Writer Professor Benjamin Zephaniah has died at the age of 65, his family have announced.

The dub poet, known for his works about refugees and healthy eating and who also appeared in hit BBC show Peaky Blinders as Jeremiah Jesus, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour shortly before his death.

A post on his Instagram account said: “It is with great sadness and regret that we announced the death of our beloved husband, son and brother in the early hours of this morning 7th December 2023.

“Benjamin was diagnosed with a brain tumour eight weeks ago.

“Benjamin’s wife was by his side throughout and was with him when he passed.

“We shared him with the world and we know many will be shocked and saddened by this news.

“Benjamin was a true pioneer and innovator, he gave the world so much. Through an amazing career including a huge body of poems, literature, music, television, and radio, Benjamin leaves us with a joyful and fantastic legacy.

“Thank you for the love you have shown Professor Benjamin Zephaniah.”

The Birmingham-born poet was nominated for autobiography of the year at the National Book Awards for his work, The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah, and it was also shortlisted for the Costa Book Award in 2018.