The T. S. Eliot Foundation is delighted to announce that the winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize 2022 is Anthony Joseph for his collection Sonnets for Albert published by Bloomsbury Poetry.
Chair Jean Sprackland said:
Each of the ten books on this year’s shortlist spoke powerfully to us in its own distinctive voice. From this strong field our choice is Anthony Joseph’s Sonnets for Albert, a luminous collection which celebrates humanity in all its contradictions and breathes new life into this enduring form.
Following a record submission of 201 poetry collections from British and Irish publishers, Judges Jean Sprackland (Chair), Hannah Lowe and Roger Robinson chose the winner from a shortlist of ten books. The eclectic shortlist comprised seasoned poets, including one previous winner, and five debut collections.
In our interview with him, Anthony Joseph said of Sonnets for Albert: ‘At its heart the book is really about loss and love, I think love is the main theme – the capacity to love, the way we can love unconditionally where a person’s humanity, their substance, is so strong it displaces their questionable aspects. My father wasn’t great as a dad, but I loved him, was fascinated by him. Readers have asked how, or why I could write a book about someone who was not a good father to me. But that’s the point. I needed to write this all down to make sense of him and the impact of his absences on me.’
Anthony Joseph is an acclaimed poet, novelist, academic and musician. He was the Colm Tóibín Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Liverpool in 2018, was awarded a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship 2019/20 and is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at King’s College London. Anthony is the author of five poetry collections: Desafinado, Teragaton, Bird Head Son, Rubber Orchestras and, most recently, Sonnets for Albert, published by Bloomsbury. He has also written three novels including: The African Origins of UFOs; Kitch: A Fictional Biography of a Calypso Icon, which was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award and longlisted for the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature; and The Frequency of Magic. As a musician he has released eight critically acclaimed albums. Anthony was born in Trinidad and lives in London. anthonyjoseph.co.uk
Anthony Joseph photo © Adrian Pope / T. S. Eliot Prize.