Linton Kwesi Johnson & Daljit Nagra
Date: Thursday 11th October
Price: £9 / £7conc.
Ticket number: +44 (0) 191 332 4041 or online www.galadurham.co.uk
Linton Kwesi Johnson is one of the most influential black poets in Britain, widely known and admired for his dub poetry: poems performed over reggae backings. He has pursued parallel careers as an activist and musician, often performing with reggae bands, releasing mostly on his own label, LKJ records. Johnson’s first book, Voices of the Living and the Dead (1974) announced his intention of being at the forefront of the struggle of black people. He documented the Brixton riots in the early 1980s in poems such as ‘Di Great Insohreckshan’. Often stark and violent, his work is leavened by humour, as in the title poem of his 1980 collection, Englan is a Bitch.
Do not miss out on this rare visit to the North East.
Daljit Nagra has also brought a new voice to British poetry, representing the Asian immigrant experience in poems that are by turns touching and comic. Like the work of Linton Kwesi Johnson, Nagra’s poetry is created for the page but its rhythms and wit take on a new life in performance. His eagerly awaited debut collection Look We Have Coming to Dover! was published earlier this year by Faber and Faber, and the title poem won the 2004 Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem.
Here are a few other headlining writers and performers appearing at this year’s Durham Literature Festival:
WILL SELF (an audience with… one of the most respected contemporary British authors including the launch of his new book Psychogeography)
ROGER MCGOUGH (an evening of stories and poems)
SEAN O’BRIEN (2007 Northern Rock Award Winner)
HILARY MANTEL (a popular and accessible writer)
… and not one but two Booker Prize winning novelists A.S. BYATT and PAT BARKER.
Alison Keeper, Director of Durham City Arts, said: “The Durham Literature Festival has been an important strand in the DCA (Durham City Arts) programme for almost 2 decades; and the 17th annual Durham Literature Festival is going to be the best yet! Our inspiring line-up of events and workshops will provide everyone with the opportunity to celebrate their own writing and the writing of others.”
Rachael Ogden, Festival Programmer, said: “The quality and range of writers appearing at this year’s festival speaks for itself and I am very proud of the programme we have created. The festival will make a significant contribution to live literature in the North East and set new standards for presentation.”