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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 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.

Anthony 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: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/windrush-day-kitch-with-anthony-joseph-ti...

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: https://bradfordlitfest.ticketsolve.com/shows/1173587503

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

Sunday 19 August, 9-11pm - Edinburgh Book Festival 

Ilkley Lit Fest Sunday 7 October - with Roger Robinson, chaired by Monique Roffey


Goldsmiths University of London Wednesday 10 October at 5pm

Room 137, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths - Anthony and Fred D'Aguair will read from their new books and talk about Windrush and its legacy.

Cheltenham Lit Fest Thursday 11 October - with Nick Makoha and Roger Robinson


Liverpool Lit Fest Saturday 20 October - New Voices, with Colm Tóibín, Sally Rooney, Lisa McInerney and Anthony Joseph


More tour dates will be added

Interested in hosting a Windrush Legacy / Kitch event with Anthony Joseph? Contact Sharmilla Beezmohun at Speaking Volumes: sharmilla.beezmohun@speaking-volumes.org.uk

Photo of Anthony Joseph by Mirabel White

Tour produced by Speaking Volumes and funded by Arts Council England.

Kitchbuy your copy now from Peepal Tree Press

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‐ Home of the Best in Caribbean & Black British Writing ‐