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Benjamin Zephaniah was born in Birmingham, and grew up in Jamaica and in Handsworth, where he was sent to an approved school. He left school at 13 unable to read or write, ending up in prison for burglary.
Fay Zwicky was born in Melbourne in 1933. Her father was a doctor, her mother a musician. From early in life she trained as a pianist, performing with her violinist and cellist sisters while still at school.