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About this poet

Elizabeth Bradfield grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington. She went on to receive an MFA in poetry from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, where she lived for five years.

She is the author of Once Removed (Persea Books, 2015); Approaching Ice (Persea Books, 2010), a book of poems about Arctic and Antarctic exploration that was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award; and Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books, 2008), which won the Audre Lorde Award and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.

Bradfield has received fellowships and scholarships from Stanford University's Wallace Stegner Fellowship program, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Vermont Studio Center. In 2005, she founded Broadsided Press, which publishes monthly collaborations by writers and artists on its website as letter-sized PDFs that anyone can download, print, and post. She is also a contributing editor to Alaska Quarterly Review.

A resident of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Bradfield works as a naturalist locally and on expedition ships around the world. She teaches creative writing at Brandeis University.


Bibliography

Poetry

Once Removed (Persea Books, 2015)
Approaching Ice (Persea Books, 2010)
Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books, 2008)

Lesson VIII: Map of North America

redacted from Smith’s Quarto, or Second Book in Geography, 1848, p. 17

     division

     division

                           general divisions

                  opposite
cluster     clusters         What considerable number

 

Where is
                           Where is Cape Farewell?

 

What sound leads into            the largest

         What  What  What  What

Boundaries  Bound United      Bound
          the    New    ?       Bound      possessions?

        What  What  What  What

prevails

        What  What  What  What

races  What   race    ?

Copyright © 2017 Elizabeth Bradfield. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Elizabeth Bradfield. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2017.

Elizabeth Bradfield

Elizabeth Bradfield

Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of Once Removed (Persea Books, 2015), Approaching Ice (Persea Books, 2010), and Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books, 2008).

by this poet

poem

Down crew-only stairs—paint-chipped rail, hand-grimed bulkheads, watertight door’s caution-striped sill—to crew mess. Sit at sticky, vinyl tablecloth (deep bluewater) before ship’s registry (a white craft afloat). Sign in, sign on: name, address, emergency contact, bank details. Instructions slurried through

poem

after Bob Hicok & Aracelis Girmay

Now forty-five, having outlasted some of
myself, I must reflect: what if I hadn’t been held
by my mom in the YWCA basement
pool, her white hands slick under

my almost-toddler armpits, her thumbs
and fingers firm around my ribs (which

2
poem

for Arctic Explorer Donald B. MacMillan
Provincetown, September


All summer, town kids pose at the edge
of the pier named after you

and leap. I’ve just flown home from Baffin,
Mac. A month of spotting polar bears,

lecturing on tundra as raw wind shrugged us off,

2