An interview with Benjamin Zephaniah

In case you were still wondering — no, Benjamin Zephaniah has not changed his mind about the role of Poet Laureate. After ten years of service, Andrew Motion stepped down this week; even as we go to press, the Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, is gearing up to announce a successor. One thing is certain though: it won’t be Zephaniah. “They could throw a million pounds at it, and I would still say no!” he tells me, in his agent’s offices in Soho, Central London. “It’s an antiquated role, and it’s anti what a poet should be doing. A poet should be a free agent; free to criticise the Royal Family even.”