Writer/naturalist Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of Toward Antarctica, Once Removed, Approaching Ice, Interpretive Work, and Theorem, a collaboration with artist Antonia Contro. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, West Branch, Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, Orion and elsewhere. For the past twenty-some years, she has balanced her work as a writer with work as a naturalist and guide, both locally and abroad.
Winner of the Audre Lorde Prize from the Publishing Triangle, finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, her awards also include a Stegner Fellowship and, a Bread Loaf Scholarship.
Founder and editor-in-chief of Broadsided Press and a contributing editor at the Alaska Quarterly Review, she lives in Truro, on Cape Cod with her partner and teaches creative writing at Brandeis University.
(2020: Lisa Sette)
In 2005, Bradfield founded Broadsided Press (broadsidedpress.org), an innovative grassroots-distributed digital broadside publishing project. Broadsided's mission is to help people put literature and art into public spaces in their communities.
With Derek Sheffield and CMarie Fuhrman, Bradfield is bringing together her love of home-place and her love of poetry. In June 2022, Tupelo Press will publish Cascadia: A Field Guide Through Art, Ecology, and Poetry. This book is inspired by the Sonoran and Southern Appalachian field guides; together we will be part of a loosely affiliated movement of books that invite readers into specific places through both science and art, mind and heart.
A contributing editor to Alaska Quarterly Review, Bradfield is happy to help words move into the world.
Since the 1990s, Liz has worked as a naturalist and marine educator. It all started with a love of boats and a long stint as a deckhand on small ecotour ships along the Pacific Coast, from Alaska to Baja (or did it start in her Puget Sound/Salish Sea childhood?). These days, she leads local naturalist workshops and whale watches from Cape Cod's outer reaches, spends time every year as a naturalist/guide in remote locations (most often in the high latitudes), and helps with marine mammal field work at home on a few projects.
Liz grew up in Tacoma, Washington with a water-focused family that spent a lot of time in the Salish Sea. She began her college education at the University of Oregon, and then graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in English and Women's Studies (she wanted to double with zoology... but that's another story).
After her deckhand gig (see above), Liz worked for a .com startup in Port Townsend, then moved east to Provincetown, Massachusetts--a place she'd never dreamed of but fell hard for once she washed ashore. She boomeranged west for five years to Alaska, living in Anchorage and earning her MFA in a place that keeps luring her back. She makes her home now on Cape Cod in the wilds of Truro.
All of these places deeply inform Liz's sense of the world. She'd like to claim them all (plus a few others) as critical to her home-sense.