As traditional gender roles shift more and more in today’s society, the role of men in parenthood gains new meaning as well. Today’s fathers are questioning thousands of years of toxic masculinity and patriarchal dominance, allowing for more nuance and flexibility in narrowly defined mother/father roles.

In this unabashedly personal discussion, poets Hugh Dunkerley and Anthony Anaxagorou will share their own approaches, experiences, fears and dreams in relation to masculinity and fatherhood, while a ‘history’ and sociological perspective of fatherhood will be offered by Laura King.

About The Speakers

Anthony Anaxagorou headshot

Anthony Anaxagorou

Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. His poetry has been published in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, New Statesman, Granta, and elsewhere. His work has also appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio 4, ITV, Vice UK, Channel 4 and Sky Arts.  

His second collection After the Formalities published with Penned in the Margins is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2019 T.S Eliot Prize along with the 2021 Ledbury Munthe Poetry Prize for Second Collections. It was also a Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year.  

In 2020 he published How To Write It with Merky Books; a practical guide fused with tips and memoir looking at the politics of writing as well as the craft of poetry and fiction along with the wider publishing industry. 

He was awarded the 2019 H-100 Award for writing and publishing, and the 2015 Groucho Maverick Award for his poetry and fiction. In 2019 he was made an honorary fellow of the University of Roehampton. Anthony is artistic director of Out-Spoken, a monthly poetry and music night held at London’s Southbank Centre, and publisher of Out-Spoken Press.

His forthcoming poetry collection Heritage Aesthetics will be published by Granta in 2022. 

Hugh Dunkerley

Hugh Dunkerley lives in Brighton with his wife and son. His latest poetry collection is Kin (Cinnamon Press) which explores the experience of contemporary fatherhood. He currently runs the MA in Creative Writing at The University of Chichester, where he is Reader in Creative Writing and Contemporary Poetry.


Laura King

Laura King is a historian who researches the history of families, relationships, gender and everyday life in twentieth-century Britain. She has specialised in the history of fatherhood in modern Britain, charting the way that men’s roles, relationships and identities have changed – or not . Her book, ‘Family Men’, was published by OUP in 2015.