Dread Poetry and Freedom

Dread Poetry and Freedom

Linton Kwesi Johnson and the Unfinished Revolution

By David Austin



This format can only be shipped to Canada.



This format can only be purchased within Canada.

Since the 1970s, poet Linton Kwesi Johnson has been putting pen to paper to refute W.H. Auden’s claim that “poetry makes nothing happen.” For Johnson, only the second living poet to have been published in the Penguin Modern Classics series, writing has always been “a political act” and poetry “a cultural weapon.”

In Dread Poetry and Freedom David Austin explores the themes of poetry, political consciousness, and social transformation through the prism of Johnson’s work. Drawing from the Bible, reggae and Rastafari, and surrealism, socialism, and feminism, and in dialogue with Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon, C.L.R. James and Walter Rodney, W.E.B. Du Bois and the poetry of d’bi young anitafrika, Johnson’s work becomes a crucial point of reflection on the meaning of freedom in this masterful and rich study.

More by this Author


Praise for Fear of a Black Nation:

[This book] solidifies David Austin’s place as one of the most important Black writers and intellectuals in North America.

– Barrington Walker, author of Race on Trial


1 The Poet’s Routes
2 Dread Dialectics
3 Dread Poetry and Freedom
4 Politics and Mourning in ‘Reggae fi Radni’
5 The Wise Old Shepherd
6 The Good Life
7 More Time
8 Searching for the Fantastic
9 Post-Apartheid Postscript