During the '70s, he also found time to attend Goldsmith College at the University of London, and he graduated with a B.A. in sociology. For the next two decades, he pursued his artistic interests and became increasingly involved in political activism. He was an arts editor at the influential London journal Race Today, worked as one of the first black broadcast journalists for the BBC, and played an important role in the Black Parents movement. He participated in numerous campaigns to help free prisoners victimized by social injustice.
Throughout his career, Johnson's dedication to struggles for racial equality and social and economic justice have found their way into his poetry and music. To read and listen to his work is to experience an eyewitness account of someone living on the front lines of the struggle. Along with the recent publication of Mi Revalueshanary Fren,Johnson has kept busy working on various music projects. He has just released LKJ in Dub, Volume 3, a collection of dub tracks with his longtime collaborator, Dennis Bovell, whom he refers to as "the Quincy Jones of reggae music." Johnson also plans to release a live album in addition to launching a tour in the U.S. with the Dennis Bovell Dub Band; during the American shows, will read his verse unaccompanied and with the band.
Top-notch poet, Jamaican-born writer and musician Linton Kwesi Johnson.
With Dennis Bovell Dub Band 9 p.m. Tuesday, September 10 Fox Theatre, 1135 13th Street, Boulder $21, 303-443-3399
In the meantime, Johnson says, he will continue to explore the connections in poetry, language and music.
"I think there is a strong connection between them," he says. "In fact, most verse is musical and has some musicality towards it, in terms of meter. I've always been attracted to verse that sings. I like the lyric. I'm interested in the relationship between the language of music and the music in language."