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Time Come: Selected Prose

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'Sharp and still relevant' - Zadie Smith
"A welcome addition to a sterling literary catalog" - Publishers Weekly
'A mosaic of wise, urgent and moving pieces' - Kit de Waal
'A book to be savored and re-read' - Derek Owusu


Recognized as one of the great poets of modern times, and as a deeply respected and influential political and cultural activist and social critic, Linton Kwesi Johnson is also a prolific writer of non-fiction. In Time Come, he selects some of his most powerful prose - book and record reviews published in newspapers and magazines, lectures, obituaries and speeches - for the first time. Written over many decades, it is a body of work that draws creatively and critically on Johnson's own Jamaican roots and on Caribbean history to explore the politics of race that continue to inform the Black British experience.

Ranging from reflections on the place of music in Caribbean and Black British culture as a creative, defiant response to oppression, to his penetrating appraisals of music and literature, and including warm tributes paid to the activists and artists who inspired him to find his own voice as a poet and compelled him to contribute to the struggle for racial equality and social justice, Time Come is a panorama of an exceptional life. A collection that ventures into memoir, it underscores Johnson's enduring importance in Britain's cultural history and reminds us of his brilliant, unparalleled legacy.

With an introduction by Paul Gilroy

'An outstanding collection' - Caryl Phillips
'A necessary book from a writer who continues to inspire' - Yomi Sode
'Incisive, engaging, fearless' - Gary Younge

ISBN-13: 9781035006328

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Picador UK

Publication Date: 12-05-2023

Pages: 336

Product Dimensions: 8.58h x 5.67w x 1.26d

Linton Kwesi Johnson, born in 1952, is a Jamaican-born reggae poet and activist who came to the UK in 1963 and lives in Brixton. In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only Black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series. He is widely regarded as the father of 'dub poetry' in the UK, a term he coined to describe the way reggae DJs blend music and verse. He has recorded several albums, many on his own LKJ Records label, and has toured the globe. LKJ's most recent awards include the 2020 PEN Pinter Prize from English PEN and, in 2021, being made an Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of the West Indies.