Linton Kwesi Johnson

Saturday 17 June
First Word

Presented in partnership with National Centre for Writing


In partnership with National Centre for Writing, First Light is thrilled to welcome the world renowned reggae poet and recording artist Linton Kwesi Johnson for an afternoon of poetry, prose and discussion about his life and work.


Since his debut poetry collection, Voices of the Living and the Dead, in 1974 and his first album, Dread Beat An Blood, in 1978, LKJ has revolutionised English poetry and spoken word, winning multiple awards, touring the world with his captivating fusion of oral verse, Jamaican speech, radical politics and reggae rhythms.


Heralded by Time Out as the ‘alternative poet-laureate’, LKJ’s is also a deeply respected and influential political and cultural activist and social critic, and, often little-known, a prolific writer of non-fiction. His latest book, Time Come, collects some of his most powerful prose for the first time, paying tribute to the activists and writers who have inspired him. Written over decades, the work draws on his Jamaican roots and Caribbean history, reflecting on subjects from the politics of race to the place of music in Black British culture.


At First Light, he’ll be in conversation with NCW’s executive director, Peggy Hughes, followed by a special poetry performance.