Poet, playwright and performer
January 1, 2016
January 1, 2016
Alongside his increasing success as a published and performance poet, Anthony Anaxagorou is also committed to education.
Anthony (OE 1994-99) started writing poetry in his teens and at 17, he won the prestigious Mayor of London's Poetry Slam with his poem, Anthropos. He was initially inclined towards a career in music and studied Music Production at the University of Westminster. After realising that this was not for him – and after a short period supporting himself with odd jobs including warehouse work – he committed himself to working full-time as a poet.
In 2009 he published his first book, Card Not Accepted – a collection of essays, short stories and poetry, all reflecting moments from his life and providing a commentary on western living. In May of that year the MOBO award-winning hip hop artist Akala chose Anthony’s short poem Himself, from the Card Not Accepted collection, to be read out on the BBC Newsnight programme by the actor Damian Lewis:
A man stands inside the noise of the world,
But all he hears is peace,
A man stands inside the stillness of a virgin field,
But all he hears is noise,
All a man ever hears is himself
Anthony’s work frequently looks at the spiritual search for inner peace. It also encompasses themes that deal with politics, racism, history and philosophy. His work has attracted increasing admiration and attention and drawn testimonials such as this from The Sunday Times: “Look out for Anthony Anaxagorou … a near-spiritual experience.” and The Evening Standard: “One of the most powerful stage performances I’ve seen.”
He has a number of poetry and short story collections in print and his poetry has appeared on BBC Youth Nation, BBC Newsnight, the British Urban Film Awards, BBC 6 Music and has been performed by Cirque du Soleil. His work has been studied in universities across the USA, the UK and Australia and has been translated into Spanish, Japanese and French.
In addition to his poetry career, Anthony has run creative-writing workshops in schools for the First Story educational trust. The organisation focuses on schools in which more than 50% of pupils are considered deprived, according to the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index. Over the course of an academic year, each writer-in-residence leads weekly after-school workshops for a group of up to 21 pupils. The pupils’ writing is then published in a professionally produced anthology for each school; the schools host book launch events at which the students read their stories to their peers, friends, families and teachers.
In 2014 Anthony was welcomed back to QE where he spoke to a number of Year 10 classes about his work as both a writer and teacher.
He also undertook a tour of Australia, which took in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. The tour featured a number of sell-out workshops and in the course of his travels he was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.