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 Cypriot award-winning poet, fiction writer, essayist, curator and publisher. He has written several volumes of poetry, a spoken-word EP and a collection of short stories. He’s an honorary fellow at the University of Roehampton where he lectures in the social sciences. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, Granta, The Rialto, Oxford Poetry, Wildness, The Feminist Review and elsewhere. It’s also been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio London, ITV, Vice UK, Channel 4 and Sky Arts. Check out Anthony reading from his poem 'You' above. (Warning: contains strong language).