The Frequency is Magical

2019-09-23_Anthony-Joseph_v12_LOWRES copy

My new novel The Frequency of Magic is Published on November 28 2019.

One of my favourite contemporary artists Charles Ray has drawn this magical image. Its a real honour. I've admired and been inspired and outspired by his work for many years.

For more on

The cover was designed by Silvia Gaspardo Moro with Morgan Canavan.

.eternally grateful.


The Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships for 2019/2020

Truly excited to announce that I've been selected as a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow for 2019/20 alongside Hafsah Aneela Bashir and Yomi Sode. This is a remarkable thing, which means I'll be given financial and critical support to expand my practice as a poet.

(From Left) Yomi Sode, Anthony Joseph, Hafsah Bashir, Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow 2019-20. Supported by Jerwood Arts and Arts Council England. Image: Mirren Kessling.

(From Left) Yomi Sode, Anthony Joseph, Hafsah Bashir, Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow 2019-20. Supported by Jerwood Arts and Arts Council England. Image: Mirren Kessling.



Announcing the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships for 2019/2020

14 June 2019

Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Anthony Joseph and Yomi Sode have been selected as the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows for 2019/20. Each poet receives £15,000, and is given a year of critical support and mentoring. The Fellowship will give the poets the time and space to focus on their craft, exploring and fulfilling their potential, with no expectation that they produce a particular work or outcome.

Hafsah, Anthony and Yomi illustrate the breadth of what poetry can be today. Through activism, theatre and other disciplines the three poets express their practice through a multitude of ways, opening poetry up to a wide range of audiences. Each has produced outstanding work to date and has been chosen for their potential at these critical points in their individual careers, when the support provided from the Fellowship could make the most difference.

They were selected from a strong field of nominees by poet Malika Booker; poet, editor and Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow 2017/18 Jane Commane; Jan Kofi-Tsekpo, Relationship Manager, Literature for Arts Council England; Jon Opie, Deputy Director of Jerwood Arts; Debris Stevenson, Grimepoet; and Nathalie Teitler, Project Manager for Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships. Nominations were made by a pool of over 200 specialists nationally including poets, publishers, editors, literary development agencies, artists, funders and festival organisers.

As selectors we were very impressed with the quality and breath of the submissions. The incredible work we saw pushed the boundaries of poetry into unimaginable spaces, by being experimental, cross arts, community focused, risky, and necessary. We are delighted to have selected these three exceptional poets who particularly encapsulate and exemplify these qualities in their poetic practice – Malika Booker

Encore Award Shortlist


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Great news to report - Kitch has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2019 Encore Award. 

The Encore Award was first presented in 1990 to celebrate the achievement of outstanding second novels. Previous winners include Iain Sinclair, Colm Tóibín, A.L.Kennedy, Anne Enright, Ali Smith, Evie Wyld, Neel Mukherjee and Sunjeev Sahota.

This is what Eley Williams, one of the judges has to say about Kitch:

‘Kaleidoscopic in both form and function, Kitch not only celebrates a real calypso legend but also lays bare the tenderness of attempted biography, the artfulness of icon-making, the failures of hagiography and the impossibility of single, defined, rigid narratives. A triumph of experimentation and testimony through fiction.’ - Eley Williams

The winner is announced on June 13.

Get a copy of Kitch here

Bird Head Son 10 year Anniversary - New Morning, Paris - 16.5.2019

Looking forward to celebrating 10 years of my Bird Head Son album at the spot where it all started - New Morning (Officiel), on May 16.

Bird Head Son was my first album with Heavenly Sweetness, we recorded 18 songs in two days, most were first takes, with only a few horn overdubs. It was produced by @Antoine Rajon and was a real breakthrough for us in France and Europe. I give love to all Spasm Band men, and to the current band...vibes galore.

We'll be playing some of the Bird Head Son album, some from the new People of the Sun album, and even looking to the future with some new material.…/people-of-the-…

A Shortlist and A Longlist for 'Kitch'

After being shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, Kitch has now made it to the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize
for Caribbean Literature longlist. This is the Caribbean's most prestigious literary prize, and I'm truly humbled that
the story of Lord Kitchener is meeting new readers. Wish me luck.
This is what the judges have said about the novel:
The novel “projects a kaleidoscopic picture of calypsonian Lord Kitchener in the voices of those who knew him.
Using Creole as a multi-stringed poetic instrument, Joseph gives us a musician’s tribute to a musician,
a wordsmith’s tale of another wordsmith.



The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2019 Longlist












Really excited to see Kitch longlisted for the 2019 Republic of Consciousness Prize.

"The second novel by the poet, academic, musician and Renaissance man Anthony Joseph takes the life of Lord Kitchener, the calypso singer who wrote “London is the Place for me”, and turns it into a richly textured first-person narrative. This is voice-driven writing which explores how to tell a life with candour and verve."

**** Guardian Review : Windrush: A Celebration review – a devastating carnival of black music


Windrush: A Celebration at the Barbican, London
 Liner notes … Windrush: A Celebration at the Barbican, London. Photograph: Emile Holba/EFG London jazz festival

large proportion of the British artists who have played at the London jazz festival in the past 26 years can trace their ancestry back to the Windrush generation, so it seems fitting for the festival to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s arrival. Tonight’s event, curated by Trinidadian poet and novelist Anthony Joseph, is billed as “A Celebration” but it is an angrier and more militant show than that word implies.

Read the full review 

National Poetry Day Mix @ Worldwide FM

Earlier this week I went to Worldwide FM to do a special National Poetry Day Mix. Its online now. Some jazz poetry, some rapso, some Brother Resistance, some LKJ, all poetry. Do your part to spread and share the words of these poets.

The new video for “Bandit School”filmed in Trinidad and featuring the mighty 3 Canal has its world premier today on Le Monde. Much love  and grtatitudesto Matthew Mora the director, Damian Whiskey, the Midnight Robber, the band and to everyone else involved!!

The new single 'On the Move' is here!

I'm really excited to share the new single from my forthcoming 'People of the Sun' album.

'On the Move' is yet another work of complex genius from composer/producer Jason Yarde, this was one of the most difficult songs to play for the band, and for me to find a way into, lyrically. It was like a knot, but eventually I did find a way in. The lyrics are based on the idea that in the Caribbean the sensation of being is so heightened that everything seems to happen at the same time, in a kind of simultaneous narrative. Ideas and images are occurring quickly and almost on top of each other in this song...travelling between the South of France, Trinidad and the cosmos here…flying.

Album out: September 21 - Pre-order here:]

More info: FIP

UK Video Premiere:

The 'Kitch' Tour

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be heading out on tour with my new novel Kitch this summer. Thanks to the Arts Council who were kind enough to grant me my second touring award and to Speaking Volumes for putting it all together. The first event is on this Sunday at Keats House, London.


The Kitch Tour
Anthony Joseph embarks on series of UK and US events exploring the legacy of The Empire Windrush. Marking the first major wave of migrants from the Caribbean to UK in the 20th century, their arrival changed and enriched our society and culture. Joseph will use his new novel, Kitch, as a starting point to interrogate this history and look at where we are now. Join him to examine the politics and activism, culture and music of the Caribbean on Britain.

kitch rough9

Kitch book cover2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival of The Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, Essex on 21 June 1948. The same date marks the publication of Kitch, Anthony Joseph’s fictionalised biography of calypso icon, Lord Kitchener, who was famously captured on film by Pathé reporters at the landing of the ship, singing “London is the place for me”, a song he had composed as the ship neared England.

In his recordings of the 1950s and ’60s, Kitch, as he was affectionately known, sung about the problems migrants faced in Britain, from poor working conditions, the lack of satisfactory housing, to the open racism and hostility they faced in the ‘mother country’.

Kitchener’s arrival onboard The Empire Windrush has become an iconic emblem of post war immigration into Britain, and his fourteen years in London and Manchester form an integral middle section of Kitch, in which his life as recording artist, touring musician, husband and quintessential Caribbean persona are intimately explored. His return to newly independent Trinidad in the early 1960s, is set against the dissolution of his marriage and his rivalries with fellow calypsonians. By focussing equally on Kitchener’s music and his largely undocumented private and political life, Joseph gets to the heart of the man behind the music and the myth, reaching behind the sobriquet, to present a holistic portrait of the calypso legend. You can hear Kitch!, a programme that Joseph made for BBC Radio 4, by clicking here.

Joseph will visit key cities in the UK with Caribbean populations – Nottingham, Liverpool, Leeds Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and London – to connect with those who were part of the migration from Britain’s colonial islands, and those who have been influenced by them, from community groups and activist collectives, universities and schools, to literary festivals and music performances, this tour will have something for everyone.

Tour events to date

Sunday 17 June – Windrush Day at Keats House: Anthony Joseph in conversation with Hannah Lowe.
Keats House, London.
Tickets free – book a place here:

Saturday 7 July – Bradford Literature Festival: Anthony Joseph and Colin Grant in conversation with Emily Zobel Marshall, plus music from Anthony, Jason Yarde and Crispin Spry Robinson
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Tickets £1-£7 – buy here:

Thursday 12 July – George Padmore Institute: Anthony Joseph in conversation with Nicole-Rachelle Moore, and reading from Kitch.
George Padmore Institute, New Beacon Books, Stroud Green Road, Lonodn
Ticket information to follow

Edinburgh Book Festival, August 2018 – more information to follow

Ilkley Literary Festival, October 2018 – more information to follow

Goldsmiths College, Lonndon, October 2018 – more information to follow

Cheltenham Literature Festival, October 2018 – more information to follow

More tour dates will be added

Interested in hosting a Windrush Legacy / Kitch event with Anthony Joseph? Contact Sharmilla Beezmohun at Speaking Volumes:

Photo of Anthony Joseph by Mirabel White

Kitch – buy your copy now from Peepal Tree Press

Soon come...first single from the new album...keep a lookout...

Composers: A. Joseph/J. Yarde
Produced by Jason Yarde
Recorded, mixed by Jordan Kouby
Recorded in San Souci, Trinidad
Art work by Ozy Merrique

Vocals : Anthony Joseph
Saxophone : Jason Yarde
Drums : David Bitan
Bass : Andrew John
Keyboard : Florian Pellissier
Guitar : Kiwan Landreth Smith
Percussions : Modupe Onilu


New Novel - "Kitch"

kitch rough9 My book on Lord Kitchener is being published by Peepal Tree Press on June 21 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Empire Windrush's arrival at Tilbury. Much more info to come on this, but for now here's the cover and description...


Combining factual biography with the imaginative structure and investment in language of the novel, Anthony Joseph fully engages with the world he recreates, and by presenting a multifaceted view from Kitch’s friends, rivals and even enemies, he gets to the heart of the man behind the music and the myth, reaching behind the sobriquet to present a holistic portrait of the calypso icon Lord Kitchener.

Date published21 JUN 2018