The Frequency of Magic

Author, poet and musician Anthony Joseph animated his book for live audiences. He read from the novel The Frequency of Magic, accompanied by some of the UK’s finest musicians, creating an enthralling performance of spoken word and improvised jazz that offered an entirely unique experience for each audience not to be repeated anywhere else.

The Frequency of Magic is an experimental, magical realist story about Raphael who earns his living as a butcher in a hillside village in rural Trinidad. He is also a would-be author, but there have been so many distractions to the novel he has been writing for forty-one years that many of the characters have lost patience and gone off to do their own thing… but somehow the novel seems to write itself. Published by Leed’s-based Peepal Tree Press, the book can be bought here.

In June they went into a north London studio and over five days recorded the whole of the book. The musicians recording and performing with Anthony are Denys Baptiste, Andrew John, Thibaut Remy, Colin Webster, Jason Yarde and Rod Youngs. The 100 chapters of The Frequency of Magic were released by the BOCAS Literature Festival over 100 days at the end of 2022.

Where Anthony performed:

16 March 2022 – Frequent Magic – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds – buy tickets here

29 March 2022 – Writers Mosaic – Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester – book your free ticket here

3 April 2022 – Lyra Bristol Poetry Festival with Linton Kwesi Johnson – Bristol Old Vic – book your ticket here

Writing on the Wall, Liverpool

London Jazz Festival, Cafe Oto, London

About Anthony Joseph:

Anthony Joseph is an award winning Trinidad-born poet, novelist, academic and musician. He is the author of four poetry collections and three novels. His 2018 novel Kitch: A Fictional Biography of a Calypso Icon was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award, and long listed for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. His most recent publication is the experimental novel The Frequency of Magic. In 2019, he was awarded a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. In 2020 a Polish translation of his afrofuturist novel The African Origins of UFOs was published, followed by a Spanish edition of Kitch. As a musician, he has released eight critically acclaimed albums, and in 2020 received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Composers Award. His most recent album, The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running For Their Lives was released in May 2021. He lectures in Creative Writing at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Produced by Speaking Volumes and funded by Arts Council England.

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