Andrea Brady

Andrea Brady’s Poetry and Bondage: A History and Theory of Lyric Constraint was published in 2021. She teaches at Queen Mary University of London.

The name​ given to Phillis Wheatley by her family is lost. She may have been born in modern-day Senegal or Gambia, and was called ‘Phillis’ after the ship in which she was forcibly transported to Boston in 1761. Wheatley was the name of the prosperous merchant family who purchased her ‘for a trifle’ – ‘a slender, frail, female child, supposed to have been...

What’s this fork doing? Alice Notley

Andrea Brady, 7 September 2023

Alice Notley​ was born in Arizona in 1945, and grew up in Needles, California. One of her first jobs was transcribing broadcasts for Radio Free Europe: the work influenced her early poems, which incorporate verbatim phrases from the street and the news – a literalisation of John Stuart Mill’s claim that poetry is eloquence overheard. Transcription was a pragmatic technique, and a...

One morning​, Hazel Brown wakes up in a hotel room in Vancouver to discover that she is the author of Baudelaire’s complete works. This is the beginning of Lisa Robertson’s The Baudelaire Fractal, which is billed as a novel, but reads more like a combined Bildungsroman, ars poetica and series of essays on clothing, painting, gender and reading. By appropriating...

From The Blog
20 July 2022

As Marx put it, capital has ‘a constant tendency towards increasing the productivity of labour in order to cheapen commodities and, by cheapening commodities, to cheapen the worker himself’. Universities are not exempt from the pressures of extractive capitalism, but take part in the drive for productivity through the cheapening of their workers. According to the University and College Union, 68 per cent of academics are on fixed-term contracts; many of them last only ten months, coming to an end in June and restarting in September, or worse (I’ve heard of colleagues getting laid off for the Christmas break). Hourly-paid lecturers who cobble together full-time workloads may earn less than £10,000 a year. Staff at Leeds have spoken of relying on food banks or not being able to afford heating. One university tutor had to live in a tent while doing her PhD research; another slept on the floor of the library because they couldn’t afford accommodation in the town where they had a short-term lectureship.

Stay Home, Stay Stoned: Diane di Prima

Andrea Brady, 10 March 2022

‘The laws of hospitality are older than the laws of the United States of America!’ Diane di Prima shouted at the FBI agents who came to her cold-water apartment in Manhattan in 1956, looking for a young dissident writer from Yugoslavia. It was her first encounter with ‘the Big Reality that had undone so much of Hollywood, of New York. Had killed the Rosenbergs and was even...

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