Linton Kwesi Johnson brought the aural poetry of Jamaican speech to 'H'england' and captured it in verse. He contributed a sharp and still relevant analysis of class dynamics to our literature. Oh, and he also made music from words. Thank you, Linton! -- Zadie Smith An outstanding collection which speaks to the extraordinary achievement of the voice of my generation. Like all great artists, Linton Kwesi Johnson wasn't called - he simply arrived. For his time, and for the ages. -- Caryl Phillips LKJ provided the soundtrack to my youth but these writings are more than nostalgic. Written with humility and generosity, this mosaic of wise, urgent and moving pieces document an important time in British Caribbean history, the emergence of our music, our culture, our heroes and our political history. I loved it. -- Kit de Waal Flecked with passion; taut and reasoned . . . The grace and power of LKJ's writing are as necessary as ever. * The Observer * Linton Kwesi Johnson is not just a master of the language but of its various forms: lyric, poetry and prose. Incisive, engaging, fearless, it is as much of a joy to read him as it is to hear him. -- Gary Younge One of the greatest living poets of the counterculture . . . Braids together the themes of his life. * The Guardian * An opportunity to understand Johnson as a thinker as well as a cultural critic . . . every word is chosen with care. * TLS * A scandalously overdue volume. -- Paul Gilroy Extraorindary . . . If you want to know about the life, politics and history behind Linton Kwesi Johnson's poetry and music, you need this book. * Wire * Sheds light not only on LKJ's creative process but also his life story. * Financial Times * A welcome collation of Linton Kwesi Johnson's writings, which provide a thorough understanding of his commitment to poetry, music and justice. I found the book inspirational - and was gladdened to eavesdrop on formative exchanges from the author's childhood and grateful to investigate avenues of culture, which were new to me. I put down Time Come singing the tune of the boon of community. -- John Hegley A brilliant and welcome collection of musings from the fertile mind of one of the world's great waymaking poets, philosophers and activists. -- Lorna Goodison It doesn't matter how familiar you might be with LKJ's poetry, in Time Come the essays and writings frame the verse; they give a context which places the verse squarely within the culture and observations that produced it. This is a genuinely deep dive into the mind of one of Britain's most important poets. -- Lloyd Bradley Gathers the real-life reportage roots of the dub poetry that makes LKJ our Bard of the Front Line, wherever it may be. His insights unite Black and diverse Britain, the Afro-Diaspora and those who dig it. Spare and deliberate, his dead-on prose critiques several decades of music, poetry, theatre and literature . . . LKJ also chronicles the social and political progress of post-colonial Black Britons, building a culture and spaces of their own. Engagingly, he shares his personal artistic development, deftly guiding arts aspirants. A work of consistent commitment and courage. -- Vivien Goldman Once again we are playing catch up with the writing of Linton Kwesi Johnson. From speeches to reviews, reggae to political commentary, Linton always has an insightful perspective . . . something to teach, something to tell, something to rebel against. A book to be savoured and re read, spending time with Kwesi Johnson, one of our greatest living poets, is always a privilege. -- Derek Owusu In Time Come, we learn how the sonic explosion in LKJ's writing and performances is rooted in his earliest impulses to question, learn, experiment and create . . . His thoughtful prose shows what an enduring legacy looks like, a tribute to his own fortitude but also to the people and forces that have shaped his trajectory and sensibility. -- Olive Senior We journey through this selection of prose with Linton K
Linton Kwesi Johnson, born in 1952, is a Jamaican-born reggae poet who came to the UK in 1963. Joining the Black Panthers whilst still at school, he has been a life-long activist fighting for racial equality and social justice. In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series. He has recorded several albums, many on his own LKJ Records label, and has toured the globe. His most recent awards include the 2020 PEN Pinter Prize from English PEN and, in 2021, being appointed an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of the West Indies. LKJ lives in Brixton in south London.