Phonic FM presents a spoken word performance by the legendary dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, including readings of his famous work and incisive reflections on Black British experience.
Linton Kwesi Johnson was born in 1952 in Chapelton, Clarendon, Jamaica. He came to London in 1963, went to Tulse Hill secondary school and later studied Sociology at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. He was a member of the Black Panthers, and developed his work with Rasta Love, a group of poets and drummers. In 1977 he was awarded a C Day Lewis Fellowship, becoming the writer-in-residence for Lambeth. He then worked at the Keskidee Centre, the first home of Black theatre and art.
In 1974 Race Today published Johnson’s first collection of poetry, Voices of the Living and the Dead. He has had four more books published and in 2002 became only the second living poet and the first black poet to have his work included in Penguin’s Modern Classics series, under the title Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems. Johnson’s first album, Dread Beat An Blood was released in 1978, and since then he has released 14 more albums, including LKJ Live in Paris in 2004, a CD and DVD celebrating his 25th anniversary as a reggae recording artist.
Linton Kwesi Johnson has been running his own record label, LKJ Records, since 1981. He has worked in journalism and is also a Trustee of the George Padmore Institute. In 2003 Johnson was bestowed with an honorary fellowship from Goldsmiths College.
This exclusive south west performance is part of Exeter Poetry Festival in support of community radio station Phonic FM.