Andrea Brady Symposium UK: Call for Papers

full name / name of organization: 
Contemporary Poetics Research Centre, Birkbeck University of London

*Call for Papers*

"A copia of words": On Andrea Brady
Andrea Brady Symposium
Date: 13th December 2014
Venue: Keynes Library, Birkbeck, University of London (43 Gordon Square)
Keynote speaker: Professor Carol Watts (Birkbeck)
The symposium will be followed by a reading by Andrea Brady.

Abstracts deadline: October 1st, 2014.

In one of the prose sections of her 2012 book, Mutability, Andrea Brady notes her surprise when her first child, Ayla's milk teeth just 'happened', arriving along with 'a copia of words'. Ayla's new, inventive and exploratory babblings tumble out with abundance or 'plenty' as the Latin copia has it. Brady is now surrounded by Ayla's restlessly evolving reach for words. In his 1512 De copia, Erasmus describes copia as a form of rhetorical exercise in eloquence, a playful gymnastics producing linguistic plenitude, 'surging along like a golden river, with thoughts and words pouring out in rich abundance.' The word copia – plenty, from copis, well supplied – also contains within itself opis, meaning wealth, power or resources. In a rich and diverse poetic career, Brady has produced her own 'copia of words', not as mechanical exercise, but as a rhetorically and stylistically challenging body of chapbooks, collections and long sequences characterised by restless interrogation of wealth, excess, power and resources; the shadowy opis immanent in the language of capitalism and abundance.

Always inventive, always interrogative, Brady's poems come in a variety of forms, but all of her work tries to capture that poetic space which, as she puts it in a piece on Mutability, holds 'against the failed and limited reality which the bounty of language constitutes.' Like the metaphysical poets whose words dapple her work, Brady's intellectually rigorous poems mine all the resources of language and poetic technique to bear lyric witness and to provide the means by which to comprehend, constitute and critique the material and ideological forces of our contemporary world and its cultural industries.

The organisers of '"A copia of words": On Andrea Brady' and the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre at Birkbeck, invite contributors to a one-day symposium on the work of one of the most important poets working in Britain today. Papers may be on any subject relating to Brady's work, but might include one or more of the following themes:

• Brady's position and / or relation to literary history
• Brady's work in relation to avant-garde or experimental poetic movements
• The influences of early modern poetry and poetics in Brady's work
• Commentary on Brady's longer sequences such as Wildfire, 'Friendship' or Mutability
• Stylistic evolutions and shifts in Brady's work
• Politics and political critique
• Poetry as an agent of social change
• Poetry and modes of embodiment
• The lyric in Brady's work
• Gender and canonicity
• Prosody and cognition
• Language and affect
• Language, poetry and excess
• Poetry and materiality
• Maternal poetics
• Brady's work in translation

Please send an abstract (250 words maximum) for a 20 minute paper to Dr Gareth Farmer ( and Vicky Sparrow ( by October 1st, 2014.

Some information on Andrea's work can be found via the links below: