Linton Kwesi Johnson is a world-renowned Jamaican poet and activist. He was born in 1952 in Chapelton, a small town in the rural parish of Clarendon, and came to Brixton at the age of 11 to join his mother who had emigrated the previous year. Johnson’s activism began whilst he was at school, when he joined the British Black Panthers’ youth wing. He went on to study sociology at Goldsmiths University, ‘as I thought it might provide me with the answers to society and my place in it’. It was around this time that Johnson began writing and performing poetry. His poetry was characterised by the use of Jamaican patois spoken over reggae music, and was what he called ‘a bridge between standard English and spoken Jamaican’. Johnson used his poetry as a weapon to speak out against the class warfare and growing racial injustice black people in Britain were facing. Together with producer Dennis Bovell, Johnson released four groundbreaking albums - Dread, Beat an’ Blood (1978), Forces of Victory (1979), Bass Culture (1980), and Making History (1983) - that would cement him as the ‘father of dub poetry’ and take him around the world as a reggae artist. An icon of Britain’s post-punk music scene and post-war cultural landscape, Johnson continues to perform around the world and run his own highly successful record label. In 2020, he was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize, and he is the only black poet, and second living poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series.