Linton Kwesi Johnson

The Verb Garden and Cleveland Arts have joined forces with Leeds based Route Publishing to promote Linton Kwesi Johnson at The Cornerhouse, Middlesbrough on Sunday 25 March at 7.30 pm. Tickets are priced at £8.00 (£7.00 concessions).

Linton Kwesi Johnson is revered as the world’s first reggae poet, ‘the alternative poet-laureate’ Time Out. With the radical and resounding Dread Beat An’ Blood, Inglan Is A Bitch, Things An’ Times and a stream of vinyl (Bass Culture to LKJ A Cappella Live), his perspectives on modern Britain are powerful critiques. His work’s influence and popularity are now widespread. His latest CD, More Time, celebrates 20 years as a recording artist.

“The name Linton Kwesi Johnson conjures up images of leadership, strong views and direction. He is the acknowledged head of the new wave of performance poets whose words welded politics and social conscience with a potent challenge to those in power” The Caribbean Times

Supporting Linton is Michelle Scally Clarke. Michelle Scally Clarke was born in Leeds and now resides in the city’s Chapeltown area. From a life of love and pain, gun shots and beatings, a lost mother and two beautiful children, she has formed a collection of performance works that will warm, entice, hook and ‘stick ya to ya seat’. Michelle Scally Clarke is an individual with a talent that extends from the page to the stage. Her first published works ‘I AM’ will be available this month.

The guest slot will be filled by local poet Andy Willoughby, who has been a regular open mic performer at The Verb Garden’s crazy gigs. Andy has had his poetry aired live on radio and internet webcasts, offering his Grangetown polemical fist to an international audience. His words are a true reflection of Middlesbrough and he delves deep into the cultural makeup of Teesside’s eclectical psyche. Andy has supported literary icon Tony Harrison and looks set to reach the next level where artists will be supporting him.

The man behind The Verb Garden, Director Dougy Pincott says,

“…in many ways Andy’s words are the essence of what the Verb Garden represents; the belief in your own artistic ability regardless of class or race, and a platform where work can be heard in an environment that shatters the traditional perceptions usually associated with literature events. Put another way Andy’s words bite and the chance to be involved and support Route national tour shows that the Northern voice is getting the recognition it deserves.”

TVA is a participatory arts organisation, based in Middlesbrough and working across the Tees Valley, helping people change and improve their lives by taking part in the arts. TVA is a small organisation which makes a big impact in imaginative and unexpected ways.