Anthony Anaxagorou | In Conversation

Anthony Anaxagorou is joining the Department of Social Sciences as an Honorary Lecturer.

He is a British-born Cypriot award-winning poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. He has published several volumes of poetry, a spoken-word EP and a collection of short stories. His new collection of poetry After the Formalities will be published with Penned in the Margins in September 2019.

We caught up with Anthony to find out about his journey so far!

Anthony Anaxagorou

One of the things which I love about my job is how varied it can get. There are weeks where I’m in a school teaching poetry to students who might find English somewhat challenging. I also get invited along to university seminars where I speak to undergraduates about a host of different things. I also run workshops in prisons and in pupil referral units where participants respond to certain exercises which ask them to think about the world and its systems in a slightly more abstract way.

Among that I need to schedule in writing days where I sit at my desk and work on whatever it is I’m trying to finish. I usually spend around 8-10 hours a day writing, then I return to it a few days later with a fresh pair of eyes and develop what I had. There’s also a live night and publishing house that I run with a team of people called Out-Spoken and Out-Spoken Press. Throughout the week, I’m liaising with colleagues on upcoming projects, titles and line-ups. It’s full-on and this will sound like a big old cliché but weekly gym sessions and healthy eating are two of the most important things in staying productive.

At Roehampton I’ll be lecturing in the humanities, where I’ll be covering everything from race and class to crime and critical thinking. For me it feels like I’ve been invited to think and talk about the issues I’m most concerned about, but the joys of lecturing mean I have to find interesting and exiting ways in to a complicated topic. There might not be a definitive answer but I find discourse to be more valuable than ‘truth’, especially in this information age and post-truth.

My tips for students interested in writing poetry or working in areas for human rights constantly change as I get older. Like with any pursuit, you need a healthy amount of ambition and love for what you do and an even healthier amount of curiosity. These things, when compounded and aligned, produce fascinating results.

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