Linton Kwesi Johnson
Linton Kwesi Johnson (aka LKJ) is a British-based author and dub poet. Born in Jamaica, he moved to Brixton, London at the age of 9. Johnson joined the English "Black Panther" group in high school, where he helped create a poetry workshop. He later became part of the "Rasta Love" group, consisting of percussionists and poets. Johnson's first book of poetry, Voices of the Living and the Dead, was published in 1974, followed by Dread Beat an' Blood in 1975 which also served as his debut album. His work gained recognition with his third book England is a Bitch in 1980 and second album Forces of Victory.
Johnson's poetry cleverly incorporates Jamaican Patois and draws inspiration from the Jamaican "toasting" tradition. He has been published in the Penguin Classics series, making him the second living poet and only black poet to achieve this honor. As a pioneer of Dub Poetry, Johnson is widely regarded as its greatest representative.
In addition to his artistic endeavors, Johnson ran his own label starting from 1991. In recognition of his political ferocity and tireless scrutiny of history through his work, he was awarded the prestigious PEN Pinter prize in 2020.