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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); Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books, 2008), which won the Audre Lorde Award and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award; and Approaching Ice (Persea Books, 2010), a book of poems about Arctic and Antarctic exploration that was a finalist for the James Laughlin 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 is the Jacob Ziskind Visiting Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.



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

Why They Went

Elizabeth Bradfield

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 before entering,
been warmed with a stone from the hearth.
Always back to Eden—to the time when we knew
with certainty that something watched and loved us. 
That the very air was miraculous and ours.
That all we had to do was show up.

The sun rolled along the horizon. The light never left them.
The air from their warm mouths became diamonds.
And they longed for everything they did not have.
And they came home and longed again.

From Approaching Ice by Elizabeth Bradfield. Copyright © 2010 by Elizabeth Bradfield. Used by permission of Persea Books.

From Approaching Ice by Elizabeth Bradfield. Copyright © 2010 by Elizabeth Bradfield. Used by permission of Persea Books.

Elizabeth Bradfield

Elizabeth Bradfield

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