Dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson awarded English PEN award for lifetime literary achievement

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03 December 2012
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imports_WRI_0-94f7brsl-100000_78482.jpg Dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson awarded English PEN award for lifetime literary achievement
The Jamaican known as the 'reggae radical' and 'the father of dub poetry' joins a list of Golden PEN recipients including Iris Murdoch, Harold Pinter and Doris Lessing.  ...

The Jamaican known as the 'reggae radical' and 'the father of dub poetry' joins a list of Golden PEN recipients including Iris Murdoch, Harold Pinter and Doris Lessing.

The Golden PEN is awarded for a lifetime's distinguished service to literature. In 2002, Linton Kwesi Johnson became the second living poet, and the first black poet, to have his works published in the Penguin Modern Classics series.

Poet and recording artist Linton Kwesi Johnson was born in Jamaica in 1952. He has described writing poetry as 'a political act...an a cultural weapon'. Many of his most famous poems, including Sonny's Lettah and Englan is a Bitch, concern police brutality and institutionalised racism, and 1981's Di Great Insohreckshan was a response to the Brixton riots.

President of English PEN Gillian Slovo said: 'Linton Kwesi Johnson is an artistic innovator, a ground-breaker who has used poetry to talk politics and who first gave voice to, and who continues to give voice to, the experience of moving country and of living in this one.'

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