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Anthony Anaxagorou wins £10,000 Ondaatje prize

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British-Cypriot poet Anthony Anaxagorou has won the £10,000 Ondaatje prize for his collection titled Heritage Aesthetics. The award, run annually by the Royal Society of Literature, recognises an outstanding work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry that evokes a sense of place.

Anaxagorou’s collection looks at time and place in its exploration of British imperial history and present-day racism. The chair of judges, journalist Samira Ahmed, said Anaxagorou’s poetry “is beautiful, but does not sugarcoat. The arsenic of historical imperial arrogance permeates the Britain he explores in his writing. And the joy of this collection comes from his strength, knowledge, maturity, but also from deeply felt love.”

Ahmed’s fellow judges were award-winning poets Roger Robinson and Joelle Taylor.

Anaxagorou’s collection is shaped by his family’s migratory history between Cyprus and the UK. He runs Out-Spoken, a monthly poetry and music night at London’s Southbank Centre, and in 2015, he set up Out-Spoken Press, which publishes poetry and critical writing with a focus on voices under-represented in the publishing industry.

The award was established in 2004 by its funder, the financier and writer Sir Christopher Ondaatje.



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keith jeffries

Thu 11th May 2023 00:31

I am delighted to hear that Anthony Anaxagorou has been given this literary award. He is a contemporary of Karim Kamar the neo classical pianist. Together, as friends and fellow artists, they hold the prospect for a brighter future in the development of the cultural life of the UK.
Keith Jeffries

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