Linton Kwesi Johnson

b. 1952

Linton Kwesi Johnson was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2013.

Linton Kweis Johnson is a Jamaican dub poet and activist who has been based in the United Kingdom since 1963. 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.

In July 2020, he was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize – established in Harold Pinter‘s name to defend freedom of expression and celebrate literature – for his commitment to political expression in his work.

Image credit: Danny da Costa