Linton Kwesi Johnson

Speaking Volumes manage performance bookings for legendary dub poetry pioneer Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Linton Kwesi Johnson. Photograph by Danny DaCostaIf you are interested in booking Linton Kwesi Johnson for a literary reading or event please contact Nick Chapman at

Upcoming events:

TAB21 Seminar, Lupod, Coratia – Friday 15 September 2017 – click for info >>

MK Lit Fest, Holiday Inn, Milton Keynes – Friday 22 September 2017 – info & tickets >>

Wakefield Lit Fest, St. Austin’s Church, Wakefield – Saturday 23 September 2017 – info & tickets >>

Exeter Poetry Festival, Phoenix Arts Centre – Thursday 28 September 2017 – info & tickets >>

The Red and the Black conference at Black Atlantic Research Institute, University of Central Lancaster – Saturday 14 October 2017

Black Education for Liberation: In Dialogue with Latin America, Birmingham City University – Thursday 2 November 2017

Le Guess Who? festival, Utrecht, Netherlands – Monday 6 November 2017 – info & tickets >>

Derby Poetry Festival, The Venue, Derby – Saturday 25 November 2017


Past 2017 events:

Beautiful Days Festival, Escot Park, Devon – Saturday 19 August 2017

Latitude Festival, Henman Park, Suffolk – Saturday 15 July 2017

Bradford Literature Festival – Thursday 7 & Saturday 9 July 2017

Ted Hughes Poetry Festival, Mexborough Business Centre – Saturday 24 June 2017

Where Are We Now? festival by Neu! Reekie! Hull City Hall – Friday 2 June 2017

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Belfast – Monday 1 May 2017



Linton Kwesi JohnsonBorn in 1952 in Chapelton, Jamaica, Linton Kwesi Johnson came to London in 1963, going to school in Tulse Hill and studying at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. He was a member of the Black Panthers, and developed his work with Rasta Love, a group of poets and drummers. In 1977 he was awarded a C Day Lewis Fellowship, becoming the writer-in-residence for Lambeth. He then worked at the Keskidee Centre, the first home of Black theatre and art.

In 1974 Race Today published Johnson’s first collection of poetry, Voices of the Living and the Dead. He has had four more books published and in 2002 became only the second living poet and the first black poet to have his work included in Penguin’s Modern Classics series, under the title Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems. Johnson’s first album, Dread Beat An Blood was released in 1978, and since then he has released 14 more albums, including LKJ Live in Paris in 2004, a CD and DVD celebrating his 25th anniversary as a reggae recording artist.

Linton Kwesi Johnson has been running his own record label, LKJ Records, since 1981, putting out the work of likes of Mikey Smith, Jean Binta Breeze, John Kpiaye and Dennis Bovell. He has worked in journalism and still regularly tours around the world with the Dennis Bovell Dub Band. He is also a Trustee of the George Padmore Institute. In 2003 Johnson was bestowed with an honorary fellowship from his alma mater, Goldsmiths College, and in 2014 he was made a Commander of the Order of Distinction for outstanding and important services to Jamaica.




Voices of the Living and the Dead (London: Race Today, 1974)

Dread Beat An’ Blood (London: Bogle-L’Ouverture, 1975)

Inglan Is A Bitch (London: Race Today, 1980)

Tings An’ Times (Newcastle upon Tyne and London: Bloodaxe Books and LKJ Music, 1991)

Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems (London: Penguin Modern Classics, 2002)



Dread Beat An Blood (Virgin, 1978)

Forces of Victory (Island, 1979)

Bass Culture (Island, 1980)

LKJ in Dub (Island, 1981)

Making History (Island, 1983)

LKJ Live in Concert with the Dub Band (LKJ Records, 1985)

Tings An’ Times (LKJ Records, 1991)

LKJ in Dub: Volume Two (LKJ Records, 1992)

LKJ Presents (LKJ Records, 1996)

LKJ A Cappella Live (LKJ Records, 1996)

More Time (LKJ Records, 1998)

Independant Intavenshan (Island, 1998)

LKJ in Dub Volume 3 (LKJ Records, 2002)

Straight To Inglan’s Head: An Introduction to Linton Kwesi Johnson (Island, 2003)

LKJ Live in Paris (LKJ Records, 2004) – CD and DVD