Anthony Anaxagorou started writing poetry before he knew what poetry entailed. At the age of 14 he began to scribble down words in an old notepad, abstract, surrealist poems that upon review seemed to be entrenched in a deep sense of question, melancholia and feeling. When his mother found his notebook, she and an aunt entered Anthony into the London Mayor’s Respect Slam where he was told to write a poem themed around Respect.
Anthony went on to win the competition, and this lead to a number of early television and radio recitals – all at the very inexperienced age of 17. During that period, he was also commissioned by the BBC to write a series of poems that dealt with the human condition. These were aired on a programme called Youth Nation hosted by presenter and comedian Richard Blackwood.
In the years that followed, Anthony has written and published 8 collections of poetry – selling out at shows, readings and via his online store. In 2009, BBC Newsnight asked to have the poem Himself read by actor Damien Lewis on their Arts and Culture show. The poem If I Told You was played at the British Urban Film Awards in 2011 where it received a standing ovation. The poem Dialectics also won the affection of the world famous dance company Cirque du Soleil where in May 2012 it was used as part of a production put on in Las Vegas. Anthony has read his poetry at the Venezuelan Embassy alongside Linton Kwesi Johnson as well as at Brixton Academy where he supported US comedians Dick Gregory and Paul Mooney. His poetry has also been used in schools and colleges in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Japan.
Outside the performance circuit Anthony teaches poetry in schools and colleges around London. He works closely with the literacy and creativity charities First Story, The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company and various other organizations that are adamant about young people finding and nurturing a creative and necessary voice to define both their lives and their experiences.
His first collection of short stories, THE BLINK THAT KILLED THE EYE, was published by Jacaranda Books in 2014. His poetry collection, AFTER THE FORMALITIES, was published by Penned in the Margins in 2019. It was a Guardian Poetry Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize.
Anthony’s latest collection of poetry, HERITAGE AESTHETICS, was the winner of the 2023 Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize and shortlisted for the Anglo-Hellenic League’s Runciman Award. It is published by Granta Poetry. In 2023, Anthony was selected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.