Linton Kwesi Johnson

    Linton Kwesi Johnson (aka LKJ)  is a UK-based dub poet. In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series.

    His performance poetry involves the recitation of his own verse in Jamaican Patois over dub-reggae, usually written in collaboration with renowned British reggae producer/artist Dennis Bovell. His middle name, “Kwesi”, is Ghanaian.

    Johnson was born in Chapelton, a small town in the rural parish of Clarendon, Jamaica. In 1963 he came to live in Brixton, London, joining his mother who had emigrated to Britain shortly before Jamaican independence in 1962.

    Johnson attended Tulse Hill secondary school in Lambeth. While still at school he joined the British Black Panther Movement, helped to organise a poetry workshop within the movement, and developed his work with Rasta Love, a group of poets and drummers.

    Johnson went on to study for a degree in sociology at Goldsmiths College in New Cross, London (graduating in 1973), which currently holds his personal papers in its archives.

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