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Event 63

Sonnets for Albert: Anthony Joseph

When I hear my father dead

I flew 10 hours into the sun

next morning I put black on

The 2023 TS Eliot Prize award-winning Sonnets for Albert by Anthony Joseph was cited by the judges as ‘a luminous collection which celebrates humanity in all its contradictions and breathes new life into this enduring form’. Born in Trinidad, with calypso, surrealism, jazz and the spiritual Baptist church as early influences, Joseph’s poems wrestle with his father’s intermittent presence in his life. ‘While some remember him with fondness,’ he has said, ‘and try to transpose his spirit, others negotiate a space for disappointment, while trying to clutch his outer garments.’ The author of four previous collections and three novels, Joseph has also released eight acclaimed albums. He now lives in London, is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Kings College, and is celebrated for bringing a highly charismatic musicality to his work, alongside a deep honesty and a defining Caribbean worldview. Paired with former NZ Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh for a magical conversation, they explore life and loss, poetry, music, the art of composing and more.

Supported by the British Council.

Sat, 20 May 2023

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