British Poetry in Performance, 1960-2008

Award Holder

Dr Andrea Brady, Queen Mary, University of London

Partner Organisation

Mr Stephen Cleary (Curator of Drama and Literature), The British Library

Doctoral Student

Stephen Willey

The CDA, British Poetry in Performance, 1960-2008, will investigate the changing contexts of poetry performance in Britain from the 1960's through to the present day. Making use of the Sound Archive at the British Library, the project will explore how performance contexts affect both the production and the reception of poetry. The project will examine how the radical London- based writers group Writers Forum, begun by the poet Bob Cobbing, played a particularly important role within British Poetry.

Writers Forum worked actively within an international context to enrich our understanding of how community formation, aesthetic development, social networks and alternate forms of publication, interact with one another at a level that operates 'Beyond Text'. It is expected that many new performances and readings of poetry will be documented throughout the course of the project.


Arts & Humanities Research Council: Each year the AHRC provides approximately £100 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,000 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Arts and humanities researchers constitute nearly a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. See Arts & Humanities Research Council website.