Approaching Ice

Persea Books, 2010

Finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets

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This collection portrays the gripping history of polar exploration by channeling its most notable figures—Symmes, Mawson, Scott, Cherry-Garrard, Byrd, and Shackleton among them. 

"These poems are adventures in far more than subject matter....the poems, in terms of craft and music, push out boundaries as well. They also take risks and prove their mettle. This is a wonderful collection."
—Eavan Boland
"Meticulously researched, but never stunted by research... In her vivid, unsentimental poetry, Bradfield is both chronicler and active lover, braiding across the pages the gloss-ice strands of history, landscape, and personal longing."
—Linda Bierds

Poems from Approaching Ice first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Blackbird, Ecotone, Field, Gay and Lesbian Review, Iowa Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. 

Reviews of Approaching Ice

Approaching Ice engages with the history of science by focusing on the human quest to reach and explore the poles, then refracting and multiplying many glimpses of that quest.
—Emily Grosholz American Scientist
She blends the past and the present with cool, icy precision, then warms it with her own, deeply personal and intimate.
—Julie Enszer, Lambda Literary, April 2010
While the biographical and experiential poems prove white-knuckle reading  ... [the poems also] subtly suggest a double reading of the book as a whole, in which the coldness of the poles becomes the chilling of hearts once in love.
—Ray Olson, Booklist, December 2009
There is no stumbling in these factually accurate poems.... Why did these men and women risk so much for discovery? As Bradfield suggests, they long "to touch/ the unspoiled." VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone who reads contemporary poetry.
The Library Journal