Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Poetry and Bondage: A History and Theory of Lyric Constraint

By Andrea Brady (NHC Fellow, 2018–19)

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2021

From the publisher’s description:

Poetry and Bondage is a groundbreaking and comprehensive study of the history of poetic constraint. For millennia, poets have compared verse to bondage – chains, fetters, cells, or slavery. Tracing this metaphor from Ovid through the present, Andrea Brady reveals the contributions to poetics of people who are actually in bondage. How, the book asks, does our understanding of the lyric – and the political freedoms and forms of human being it is supposed to epitomise – change, if we listen to the voices of enslaved and imprisoned poets? Bringing canonical and contemporary poets into dialogue, from Thomas Wyatt to Rob Halpern, Emily Dickinson to M. NourbeSe Philip, and Phillis Wheatley to Lisa Robertson, the book also examines poetry that emerged from the plantation and the prison. This book is a major intervention in lyric studies and literary criticism, interrogating the whiteness of those disciplines and exploring the possibilities for committed poetry today.

Subjects
Literature / Literary Criticism / Lyric Poetry / Poetry / Poets / Enslaved Persons / Prisoners /

Brady, Andrea (NHC Fellow, 2018–19). Poetry and Bondage: A History and Theory of Lyric Constraint. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2021.