Poetry International Poetry International
54th Poetry International Festival Rotterdam
Linton Kwesi Johnson - Reading & interview

Linton Kwesi Johnson - Reading & interview

Experience a live performance by renowned poet and activist LKJ.

Reading & interview Linton Kwesi Johnson

This year, we have the absolute honor of receiving an iconic poet at the festival: Linton Kwesi Johnson, founder of dub poetry and an incredibly talented poet, speaker and musician. His strongly societal and wonderfully rhythmic poems, a mix of English and Patois, speak out, in crystal clear lines, against injustice and racism. A performance by LKJ, as he is widely known, is an unforgettable experience. During this program, you will not only hear him perform, but also speak of his work and his striking career. He will be interviewed by none other than the Poet Laureate - and the mother of spoken word - of The Netherlands, Babs Gons.


Bio Linton Kwesi Johnson

Linton Kwesi Johnson or LKJ is a Jamaican-born and British-based poet and activist.

He started combining poetry and activism early on in his career when he joined the Black Panther movement in 1970 and started organizing poetry workshops for members of the movement. In a 2018 interview Johnso...

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Reading & interview Linton Kwesi Johnson

This year, we have the absolute honor of receiving an iconic poet at the festival: Linton Kwesi Johnson, founder of dub poetry and an incredibly talented poet, speaker and musician. His strongly societal and wonderfully rhythmic poems, a mix of English and Patois, speak out, in crystal clear lines, against injustice and racism. A performance by LKJ, as he is widely known, is an unforgettable experience. During this program, you will not only hear him perform, but also speak of his work and his striking career. He will be interviewed by none other than the Poet Laureate - and the mother of spoken word - of The Netherlands, Babs Gons.


Bio Linton Kwesi Johnson

Linton Kwesi Johnson or LKJ is a Jamaican-born and British-based poet and activist.

He started combining poetry and activism early on in his career when he joined the Black Panther movement in 1970 and started organizing poetry workshops for members of the movement. In a 2018 interview Johnson describes his motivation to start writing poetry as a way of expressing his anger about racial oppression as well as his passion for the struggle against it: “Poetry was a cultural weapon in the black liberation struggle”.

His first work appeared in the magazine Race Today, which also published his first collection of poetry Voices of the Living and the Dead (1974). LKJ’s fifth publication Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems (2002) made him one of only three living poets to be published by Penguin Modern Classics. Besides English, he regularly uses Patois in his poetry.

As a pioneer of dub poetry, Johnson merges poetry and dub music (a subgenre of reggae) into powerful and rhythmic performances. He has recorded and immortalized his musical performances in sixteen records, many of which were released by his own label LKJ Records. In the poetry collection and record Dread Beat an’ Blood (1975/1978) he describes brutal police attacks on London’s black youth. However, he does not stop at mere description, but points to the possibility of insurrection and social change.

The Jamaican government has recognized LKJ’s extraordinary achievement in poetry and popular music by conferring onto him the Order of Distinction. Furthermore, he has been awarded countless honorary titles by universities and institutions in the UK, Jamaica and South Africa. For his Lifetime’s Achievement in Writing, he has been decorated with the Golden PEN by the English branch of PEN.

 

Saturday June 8th  

18.00 - 19.00

LantarenVenster - Auditorium 1


Pricing

Buy a day- or passe-partout-ticket via the link above.

Language and duration

Language: English

Duration: 1 hour

Festival poets

See also

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère