Linton Kwesi Johnson

Legendary reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson to perform at Gulbenkian

On Friday 24 September 2021, the Gulbenkian will host a performance by Linton Kwesi Johnson, whose influential and radical voice made him the first black poet to have his work included in Penguin’s Modern Classics series.

Gulbenkian’s Artistic Director, David Sefton, says; “Linton Kwesi Johnson’s is one of the most important voices in 20th and 21st century spoken word. It is fantastic to think of him performing here in Canterbury, and I am sure our audiences will grab this opportunity to watch a true legend in action.”

University of Kent Drama and Theatre graduate Taylor Sonko-Garvey will support the legendary reggae poet and social activist Linton Kwesi Johnson in a performance at Gulbenkian Arts Centre on 24 September.

Taylor developed her performance poetry on two modules, starting with Popular Performance in her second year and using Johnson as an inspirational subject throughout her studies.

About Linton Kwesi Johnson

Linton Kwesi Johnson’s work has always been political, vital and necessary, drawing attention to topics like systemic racism, police abuse and National Front attacks, calling for government, institutions and society to be held to account.

The legendary reggae poet and social activist was born in Jamaica before moving to London. He was a member of the Black Panthers and the poetry editor of political magazine Race Today, using the platform to introduce important ideas and new voices to the British public.

In 1974 Race Today published Johnson’s first collection of poetry: Voices of the Living and the Dead. In 2002 became only the second living poet and the first black poet to have his work included in Penguin’s Modern Classics series.

Johnson’s first album, Dread Beat An Blood was released in 1978, and since then he has released 14 more albums made with long-time collaborator, dub producer Dennis Bovell. He has been running his own record label, LKJ Records, since 1981, bringing new artists to the attention of wider audiences.

Tickets for the event are £15 (£10 Student/Under 26) and can be bought online