Philip Brady

Philip Brady (CNF, Criticism, Poetry) | New York City, NY

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Philip Brady’s forthcoming book is The Elsewhere: Selected Poems and Poetics (Broadstone, 2020). His most recent book is a collection of essays, Phantom Signs: The Muse in Universe City (University of Tennessee Press, 2019) He is the author of four books of poetry, a previous collection of essays, and a memoir. He has edited a critical book on James Joyce and an anthology of contemporary poetry. Brady’s work has received the Snyder Prize from Ashland Poetry Press; a ForeWord magazine Gold Medal; an Ohioana Poetry Award; the Ohio Governor’s Award and six Individual Artist Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council; and Thayer and Newhouse Fellowships from New York State. An essay earned Notable recognition in Best American Essays, and work has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes. He has done residencies at Yaddo, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, the Hambidge Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland, Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain, Hawthornden Castle in Scotland, and the Soros Centre for the Arts in the Czech Republic. Brady has taught at the National University of Zaire, University College Cork, and on Semester at Sea. Currently, he is distinguished professor of English at Youngstown State University. He is Executive Director of Etruscan Press. He also serves on the low-residency MFA faculty of Wilkes University.


The Elsewhere: Selected Poems & Poetics (Broadstone Books, 2020). Poetry.
Phantom Signs: The Muse in Universe City (University of Tennessee Press, 2019). Essays. CNF.

To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet (Broadstone Books, 2015). Memoir. CNF.

By Heart: Reflections of a Rust Belt Bard (University of Tennessee Press, 2008). Essays. CNF.

Fathom (WordTech Press, 2006). Poetry.

To Prove My Blood: A Tale of Emigrations & the Afterlife (Ashland Poetry Press, 2004). Poetry.

Weal (Ashland Poetry Press, 1999). Poetry.

Forged Correspondences (New Myths, 1996). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press, & Reviews

“In prose richer than most poetry, Philip Brady proves that to go forward you go back. To sneak up on easeful death, you go back to primeval Brooklyn, mythological Ireland, equatorial Africa, ancient Greece. There are no straightforward chronologies here; instead, Brady executes a strong of backward flips during which he repeatedly sings his own dirge. What a performance. What a bite out of life!”
—John Vernon, author of A Book of Reasons
“…At once lyrical and dissonant, seriously playful, tender and evoking pity, yet relentlessly tough… A Faulknerian-Irish myth of the quotidian.”
—John Wheatcroft, author of Catherine, Her Book
“Brady’s use of language is revealing and densely poetic…. time curves to encompass and link seemingly unrelated events in the lives of the family members.”
—Mary Burke, Keogh Institute of Irish Studies
“This is a book that is sensible and smart. It throbs with life and style and the hard iron of living—the words beaten into tensile strength, all rust scoured into thought.”
—Sam Pickering
“I don’t know of any poet living in America today who would even attempt what Philip Brady has masterfully accomplished in To Banquet with the Ethiopians, a Memoir of Life before the Alphabet. Like a modern-day Homer or Joyce, Brady set out to re-envision his life as a mythic voyage after undergoing heart surgery and experiencing his own personal descent into the underworld. At times funny and often revelatory, Brady writes with incantatory power as he contemplates the arc of life, moving seamlessly between memory and myth, the humdrum and the metaphysical, carrying his reader like a boat on a wave with his lush language and oratory ease.”
—Nin Andrews, author of Sleeping with Houdini
“The work has that sense of the contemporaneity of the ancient, a kind of muscularity and lushness of rhetoric as embodying the physical force of the ancients—obviously the orality of the performance does as well—and yet the philosophical layering, with a kind of post-Lacanian ring, feels quite immediate, owned, bound to the dailiness of the scholar as hostage, as exile, as subject not only to time but the power architectures built to manage our anxiety over time.”
—Bruce Bond, author of Choir of the Wells and Peal
“I don’t know anyone with Philip Brady’s profound sense of his work’s embeddedness in history, its origins in the body, its realization of community. Long live the Ethiopians!” –H.L.Hix, National Book Award Finalist
“Part high-spirited flash memoir, part nuanced cultural poetics, Philip Brady’s Phantom Signs sparkles with wit and insight. Writing as both esteemed poet and publisher of Etruscan Press, Brady offers incisive meditations on matters grave (the profound joy of playing basketball post-heart attack) and groovy (the poetry scene as it seemed to a shy young poet in the 70s) in prose so luminous it lifts off the page. Moments of memoir punctuate discussions of poetry, which are, in their postmodern perspective on art and life, brilliant and wise. Phantom Signs is a dazzling read.” Cynthia Hogue, Scheming Women
“A beautiful, fluid, graceful exploration. Original thinking in an original voice. I adore Brady’s lyricism, voice, style, syntax. All of it.” Gary McDowell, Caesura: Essays
“Maybe because he was a changeling at birth or maybe because he died [briefly], or because of other lives as poet, editor, publisher, musician, basketballer, Philip Brady writes like no one else. His is a mind that is restless, extensive, resourceful, and unafraid. He believes equally in the Muse and in the mammal brain, the utterance and the sign, poetry and its undoing. He is able to channel voices from Africa and Ireland and antiquity as well as Kobe Bryant and the childhood hi-fi in Queens. Phantom Signs is a remarkable document that is also skeptical of the document, using the techniques of memoir and the novel and the song to disrupt the conventions of the essay. He builds his own counter-testimony. Exacting of the word and generous of spirit, this book is a beautiful breaking of silence.” Bruce Smith, Devotions
“Broadly and deeply learned, Brady’s pages shimmer with ideas. His prose bangs and jumps with the exuberance of a latter-day Thomas Carlyle. Philip Brady is the real thing.” Sam Pickering, All My Days Are Saturdays
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