Join us as we mark the publication of AFTER THE FORMALITIES, a new poetry collection by Anthony Anaxagorou. Anthony will be reading from the collection before discussing his work with Jack Underwood.
A knife is pulled. An Uber driver is racially abused on the day of the Brexit referendum. A father bathes his son in ice water. A schoolboy drives a drawing pin into a map of the world. The threat of violence is never far away in Anthony Anaxagorou's breakthrough collection After the Formalities. Technically achieved, emotionally transformative and razor-sharp, these are poems that confront and contradict; poems in which the scholarly synthesises with the streetwise, and global histories are told through the lens of one family. Anaxagorou 'speaks against the darkness', tracking the male body under pressure from political and historical forces, and celebrates the precarious joy of parenthood. The title poem is a meditation on racism and race science that draws on the poet's Cypriot heritage and is as uncomfortable as it is virtuosic. Elsewhere, in a sequence of prose poems that shimmer with lyric grace, he writes, 'I'm your father & the only person keeping you alive.'
Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. His poetry and fiction have appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio 4, ITV, Vice UK, Channel 4 and Sky Arts, and have been published in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, Granta, The Rialto, Oxford Poetry, Wildness and The Feminist Review. In 2015 he won the Groucho Maverick Award and was shortlisted for the Hospital Club’s H-100 Award for most influential people in writing and publishing. In 2019 he was made an honorary fellow of the University of Roehampton. He has toured extensively in Europe and Australia. Anthony is artistic director of Out-Spoken, a monthly poetry and music night held at London’s Southbank Centre, and publisher of Out-Spoken Press.
Jack Underwood is the author of Happiness (Faber & Faber, 2015). He is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London.