UEL pips Palace to the poet

December 5, 2003

The University of East London has got one up on Buckingham Palace. Poet Benjamin Zephaniah, who last week publicly rejected the offer of an OBE, has accepted an honorary doctorate from the university. Mr Zephaniah, who is dyslexic and did not learn to read or write until his 20s, said: "This is very special. East London has been a real home for me and it was while I was living in Stratford that I got my first book published - though I couldn't read at the time. I am honoured because this university is local and gives opportunities to local people."

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