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Johnson wins Golden PEN Award 2012
03.12.12 | Charlotte Williams
Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson has won this year's Golden PEN Award, worth £1,000.
The prize is awarded annually to a writer resident in Britain whose body of work has had a "profound impact on readers and who is held in high regard by fellow writers and the literary community".
The winner is elected by the Trustees of English PEN, and the award will be presented at the English PEN Christmas party, which follows its AGM today, at the Free Word Centre, Farringdon, London.
Johnson is regarded as the father of "dub poetry", and his first collection was published in 1974. President of English PEN Gillian Slovo said: "Linton Kwesi Johnson is an artistic innovator, a ground-breaker who has used poetry to talk politics and who first gave voice to, and who continues to give voice to, the experience of moving country and of living in this one."
Johnson said his writing belongs to a "little tradition" of Caribbean verse", and said: "I hope that by conferring on me this award, English PEN will involve more black writers in its important work and that more black writers will support English PEN."