JIS News

Jamaican-born, London-based reggae poet and recording artiste, Linton Kwesi Johnson, will read and discuss the work from his book of poems, ‘Mi Revalueshanary (Revolutionary) Fren’, at a book-signing on October 17, at 6:00 p.m. at Founders Hall, St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn.
The event is being presented by Date with a Book and the Caribbean Cultural Theatre.
Mr. Johnson, whose poems are written in the Jamaican language and accompanied by pulsating reggae music or performed to the rhythm of his “reggae poetry”, as he describes it, is the first black poet and one of two living writers to be given his own volume in the Penguin Classics series, from which this U.S. edition was reprinted.
In reference to his use of the language, LKJ, as he is known to his fans, has been quoted as saying, “Language is about identity, and when I began to write in verse, I knew I wanted to use the kind of language that could best convey the experiences I wanted to articulate and I knew that was not going to be the rarified language of classical English. For me, one of the defining characteristics of poetry is authenticity of voice and my natural voice is the ordinary spoken Jamaican language”.
For more than 25 years, Mr. Johnson has been chronicling the black experience in Britain, while commenting on events from South Africa to Eastern Europe. His poems give voice to the Afro-Caribbean community and shine a spotlight on race relations in Britain. Considered one of the indisputable voices of black Britain in 2005, LKJ was voted number 22 in a poll of the top 100 Black Britons of all times.
‘Mi Revalueshanary Fren’ features 39 of LKJ’s poems, divided into three decades beginning in the 1970s. It includes a CD of Mr. Johnson reading his poems.
He will also be presenting from his book at The Bowery Club on October 15; Pace University and Hue-Man Bookstore on October 16; and Long Island University on October 17.

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