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Goldsmiths - University of London

‘Benjamin Zephaniah’s Didactic Poetics: Critical, Creative, Consequentialist’

Osborne, Deirdre. 2019. ‘Benjamin Zephaniah’s Didactic Poetics: Critical, Creative, Consequentialist’. In: G Rings and S Rassinger, eds. The Cambridge Book of Intercultural Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Book Section] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

This chapter explores the ways in which poetry can serve an explicitly didactic purpose in educating readers/listeners about racial-cultural exclusion zones in Benjamin Zephaniah’s late-twentieth-century school poems (School’s Out, Propa Propaganda, City Psalms). Through centring black pupils’ perspectives, (while pupils of all ethnicities constitute his primary addressees, auditors, interlocutors), Zephaniah contests the narrowness of curriculum, elucidates the consequences of ignoring the rich cultural heritages that multi-ethnic populations bring to education, and represents the effects of restricted views of history upon a minoritised young person’s sense of themselves in the world - which links directly to today’s salient question, ‘Why is my curriculum white?’

Item Type:

Book Section


black British, didactic poetics, performance, intercultural, colonially, consequences, school

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Dec 2018 10:49

Last Modified:

13 Dec 2018 10:49


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