AN internationally renowned poet performed his work to an audience on Teesside as part of Black History Month.

Linton Kwesi Johnson, legendary musician and poet travelled to the North-East, in support of Tees Valley Arts at Teesside University, with his self styled reggae poetry.

Rowena Sommerville, director of Tees Valley Arts, said the artist is an icon of black political poetry and a tremendous performer.

“He was compelling, there was a great response and it was great to have him there and great for the Tees Valley area.”

In 2002 Linton Kwesi Johnson became the second living and the first black poet to be published in ‘Penguin Modern Classics’.

Born in Chapeltown, Jamaica in 1952 Linton moved to London in 1963. He told the audience he was “part of the second generation, the rebel generation” to move to England.

He became a member of Black Panthers, whilst still at school and during the 1970s racial unrest in London, he developed his reggae style, running poetry workshops. He said: “Poetry is like medicine and it should be taken in small doses.”

Tees Valley Arts works alongside organisations like Teesside University in supporting young people, asylum seekers, refugees and prisoners.

Margaret Younger, equality and diversity advisor at the university, said: “Black History Month aims to enhance the student experience, engage the wider community and encourage the wider participation of students from minority backgrounds, inspiring them to achieve their potential.”