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Elizabeth Bradfield

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Elizabeth Bradfield

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.



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

by this poet


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



                           general divisions

cluster     clusters         What considerable number


Where is


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,


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