02 Dec

The African Origins of UFOs

The African Origins of UFOs
"The African Origins of UFOs" is a narrative in verse that alternates between future - present and past. It is a fusion of science fiction, surrealism, mythology and the carnivalesque rhythms of Trinidadian dialect. It is a unique, genre busting, hybrid text that blurs the boundaries between prose and poetry and asks difficult questions about "race", memory and the future.
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About the Book

In the hot and hedonistic atmosphere of Toucan Bay, a Caribbean enclave on the planet Kunu Supia, the legendary hustler of bootleg melanin Joe Sambucus Nigra returns from the desert with a price on his head. Waiting for him at the seafront brothel and nightclub Houdini’s, are several of his enemies including his arch nemesis, the gargantuan hired assassin Bo Nuggy.

An unnamed, semi omniscient narrator relates the sequence of events that unfold at Houdini’s the night of Joe Sam’s long awaited return. His story is interrupted by periodic hallucinations or genetic flashbacks that take the reader on a journey from ancient Iere to Kunu Supia, via present day Trinidad. And in which the past, present and future coalesce into a more expansive narrative that reveals his own history through time and space.

The twenty-four chapters that comprise The African Origins Of UFOs were written over a five year period. The text is a time shifting narrative in poetic prose and poetry that fuses elements of Science Fiction, surrealism, metafiction, Trinidadian history and mythology, to explore issues of exile, race and genetic memory, all told in a fresh and innovative language, infused with the speech rhythms of Trinidad. It blends the diasporic with the avant-garde into something which can only be called “afropsychedelic noir.”

About the Author
Anthony Joseph

Anthony Joseph is a Trinidad-born poet, musician and lecturer.

In 2004, he was chosen by Decibel and the Arts Council of England as one of 50 writers who have influenced the Black-British writing canon over the past 50 years. In 2005 he was the British Council's inaugural poet in residence at California State University, Los Angeles.

He is the author of four poetry collections; Desafinado (1994), Teragaton (1998), Bird Head Son (2009) and Rubber Orchestras (2011) and a novel The African Origins of UFOs which was published by Salt Publishing in 2006. He has been an AHRC scholar, recently completing a PhD at Goldsmiths College with a focus on Caribbean life writing.

He performs internationally as the lead vocalist for his band The Spasm Band with which he has released three critically acclaimed albums.

In 2012 Joseph represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Poetry Parnassus Festival on London’s South Bank. He lectures in creative writing at Birkbeck College, London.

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