Fractalizing the Front Line: Brixton in the poetry of Allen Fisher and Linton Kwesi Johnson

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This article discusses the 1970s and 1980s work of two very different poets – Allen Fisher and Linton Kwesi Johnson – who lived in the Brixton area of south London during this period. The article suggests some points of contact in the auditory dimensions of their writing on Brixton, although no attempt is made to suggest broader similarities. The riot of April 1981 is a key event around which the discussion revolves. The acoustic ambience of Brixton at the time, it is asserted, is the medium through which a form of physical and cognitive disturbance finds its way into poetic texts. In this way, issues of racial oppression, national identities, social unrest and poetic form are sounded.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-22
JournalJournal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Allen Fisher, Linton Kwesi Johnson, reggae, dub, Brixton, place, Brixton Fractals, riot, poetics, poetic form, place

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