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Linton Kwesi Johnson


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Linton Kwesi Johnson (aka LKJ) (born 24 August 1952, in Chapelton, Jamaica) is a British-based . He became only the second living poet to be published in the Penguin series. His poetry involves the recitation of his own verse in Jamaican over , usually written in collaboration with renowned British reggae producer/artist Dennis Bovell .

Most of Johnson’s poetry is , dealing mainly with the experiences of being an in Britain. However, he has also shown himself more than capable of writing about other issues, such as British foreign policy or the death of marcher Blair Peach. His most celebrated poems were written during the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The poems contain graphic accounts of the often racist police brutality occurring at the time.

Johnson’s best known albums include his debut “Dread Beat An’ Blood”, “Forces Of Victory”, “Bass Culture” and “Making History”. Across these albums are spread classics of the dub poetry school of performance - and, indeed, of reggae itself - such as “Dread Beat An’ Blood”, “Sonny’s Lettah, “Inglan Is A Bitch” and “Independant Intavenshan”.

When written, Johnson’s poetry makes clever use of the unstandardised transcription of Jamaican Creole.

Of late, Johnson has only performed live on an intermittent basis.


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