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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)

Signing on Again

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 Finance’s Greek & Safety’s Bulgarian accents. Nod understood, understood when sentences end in crest. Get lifejacket with green laminated card carabinered to chest, billet number on front. All expedition staff P-something. This time: Papa Nine Three.

a memory:
ship aground, ebbing tide
dark, cold lapping sea

Submit certificates vouching competence: medical, crowd management, Zodiac operations... Paper to normalize and make of any possible disaster indemnified routine.

Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Bradfield. Used with permission of the author. “Signing on Again” originally appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review.

Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Bradfield. Used with permission of the author. “Signing on Again” originally appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review.

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

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

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
that men might learn what the world is like at the spot where the sun does not decline in the heavens.
—Apsley Cherry-Garrard
Frost bitten. Snow blind. Hungry. Craving
fresh pie and hot toddies, a whole roasted
unflippered thing to carve. Craving a bed
that had, an hour