Toward Antarctica challenges iconic images of Antarctica and tropes of travel writing, offering a complex, layered, politically aware view. It examines our relationship to journeying, remoteness, discovery, temporary societies, service economy, and “pure” landscapes. Because of this critical lens, the moments when the beauty and jaw-dropping wonder of the place are rendered become all the more moving.
Toward Antarctica is a mixed-genre book about Bradfield's experiences working as a naturalist/guide in Antarctica. Using short, diary-like prose interspersed with photographs and short poems, Bradfield sounds one of this world's most iconic symbols of remote, pristine, and threatened places.
Poems from Toward Antarctica have been published in About Place, Alaska Quarterly Review, Bat City Review, Copper Nickel, EarthDesk, Field, Fourth River, Kenyon Review, Orion Magazine’s Blog, Poetry Northwest, Talking River, The Rumpus, Terrain.org, White Whale Review, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day and the anthology, Reading Queer: Poetry in a Time of Chaos.
Forthcoming in May, 2019.
Elizabeth Bradfield's third collection of poems returns to her investigations as a naturalist in the world. How does a right whale corpse help illuminate a grandmother's grief? Can recognizing a bird call out of range serve as a point of connection between two people?
The poems of Once Removed are intimate, wry, desperate, and searching. They explore how we connect (and fail to connect) to the social, familial, and environmental worlds we live in.
From Alaska to Cape Cod to Bradfield's childhood home in the Pacific Northwest, place shapes these poems. They look outward, armed with science and grounded by love, in order to understand the deeply mysterious terrain of our humanity.
Reviews of Once Removed
...The uneasy connection between ecological mindfulness and expedient economics complicates Bradfield’s perspective, making her a trustworthy guide...Encounters in the wild, in non-traditional families, and in distinctive cultural settings occasion poems in which the speaker negotiates physical and psychological proximity.
—Robin Becker, reviewing Once Removed in The Georgia Review
Some poets take nonhuman nature as just one more subject; for Bradfield, however, plants and animals—Atlantic seascapes, tropical forests, marine mammals, migratory seabirds—give most of her poems their reason to exist...
—Stephen Burt in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of American Poets
Bradfield’s poems, though they do much to navigate the complex environments of emotion, relationships, and knowledge, ultimately ask just one thing of us: how will we attend one another?
— Laura Maher (with illustrations by Julia Koets) in The Bind
Finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets
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."
"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."
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
Winner of the Audre Lorde Award and finalist for a Lambda Literary Award
Natural history, work, queerness, and family collide in Interpretive Work. When they do, a deep stubborn will emerges, a belief in the unexpected beauty of the world—flaws and all. The poems of this collection foreground the role of the viewer—the interpreter "smudging self across what's seen."
Poems from Interpretive Work were first published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cream City Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Seattle Review, and elsewhere.
Note: I am very sorry that not more of the poems from Interpretive Work are available online, particularly ones from the Butch Series; at the time they were published, not many magazines were offering work online.
Reviews of Interpretive Work
I am partial to her senses of incongruity, outlaw difference, and sheer perverse terror and delight in bad language... She has a touch of that sublime regret we've required, since forever... I see something in this book.
—from Jordan Davis's review in The Constant Critic, March, 2009
This fascination with naming necessarily leads to one of the book's recurring thematic questions: what do we really mean when we say nature and natural?
—from Nicky Beer's review in Diagram, Issue 8.5, 2008
Bradfield [has a] keen eye for intertwining the narrative of the natural world and her human narrative. This is what is breathtaking about Interpretive Work... here are the poems of an important new poet.
—from Julie Enszer's review in Lambda Literary Report, Spring/Summer 2008
The use of such words as 'natural,' 'vulnerability,' and the outcry at the imposition of a dominant group over the well-being of another suddenly take on a more complicated resonance.
—from Rigoberto Gonzalez on Harriet (the Poetry Foundation's blog) Februrary, 2008
In her marvelous debut collection, Elizabeth Bradfield probes the work of daily life, locating her speakers in family, intimate relationship, neighborhood, wilderness, and workplace. ... an important new voice among us.
—from Robin Becker's article in The Women's Reivew of Books
Permanent Vacation: Volume 2
Bona Fide Books, 2018
Eighteen essays by people who work in United States National Parks and reveal their thrills, frustrations, and inside views of those set-aside places.
Reading Queer: Poetry in a Time of Chaos
Anhinga Press, 2018
Edited by Maureen Seaton and Niel de la Flor
A collection of the most subversive, gritty, moving, and courageous writing to come out of the U.S. queer community in recent political times.
The Poem’s Country: Place & Poetic Practice
Pleiades Press, 2018
Edited by Shara Lessley & Bruce Snider
In twenty-nine innovative essays, The Poem’s Country: Place & Poetic Practice considers how the question of place shapes contemporary poetry.
The Echoing Green: Poems of Fields, Meadows & Grasses
Penguin Random House
Everyman’s Library, 2016
Edited by Cecily Parks
The rich poetic history of grass spans the centuries, from the pastoral poems of ancient Rome to the fields and prairies of the New World. Contemporary poets—Lucia Perillo, Harryette Mullen, Denise Levertov, and Gary Soto among them— reflect on an age of environmental crisis.
Up Here: The North at the Center of the World
University of Washington Press
Edited by Julie Decker and Kirsten Andersen
Up Here connects art, science, and environment at a time when unprecedented climate change requires unprecedented innovation. The contributors explore the ideas of "wilderness" and "remoteness," the lessons to be learned from cold places and indigenous knowledge, and how the Arctic is a signal for global change.
Because You Asked: A Book of Answers on the Art and Craft of the Writing Life
University of Washington Press, 2016
Edited by Katrina Roberts
Borne out of over 15 years curating the Visiting Writers Reading Series at Whitman College, Katrina Roberts's Because You Asked is an anthology that brings together anecdotes, approaches, aspirations, confessions, warnings, challenges, passions, foibles, secrets, prompts, craft notes, manifestos—that is, perspectives from writers.
Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion
Academy of American Poets, 2015
For 80 years, the Academy of American Poets has been one of the most influential and respected champions of contemporary American poetry. Now for the first time, the poems selected by the Academy for its Poem-a-Day program are available in book form.
This Assignment is So Gay: lgbtiq poets on the art of teaching
Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013
Edited by Megan Volpert
Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry
Editors Dorothea Lasky, Dominic Luxford, and Jesse Nathan with the Poetry Foundation and McSweeny's. Part of the "Poets in the World" series from the Harriet Monroe Institute, edited by Ilya Kaminsky.
The Ecopoetry Anthology
Trinity University Press, 2013
Edited by Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street, Introduction by Robert Hass
320 poems by 176 poets as diverse as John Ashbery, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Lucille Clifton, Louise Erdrich, Brenda Hillman, W. S. Merwin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ed Roberson.
The Rumpus Original Poetry Anthology
The Rumpus, 2012
Edited by Brian Barker
"Almost three years ago, we published our first poem at The Rumpus, Elizabeth Bradfield's "In Praise of Entropy." It was the first entry in our now yearly National Poetry Month poem-a-day project. [This e-anthology] showcases work from 100 poets."—Brian Barker
LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality
Sibling Rivalry Press, 2011
Edited by Kevin Simmonds
Rigoberto González of National Book Critics Circle calls this anthology the "sacred text of our queer times." Over 100 LGBTIQ-identified established and emerging poets from around the world writing on faith, religion & spirituality.
Oil + Water
Typecast Publishing, 2010
Edited by Jennifer Woods
A literary and visual art project exploring the dependency and complex relationship we have with these two important resources.
New Poets of the American West
Many Voices Press, 2010
The West is so big, the deeper one reads in this anthology, the more voices and world views one encounters, the more textures of thought, emotion, and language one discovers, the less we may find ourselves able to speak of a single, stable something called the American West.
Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry
Autumn House Press, 2007
This comprehensive survey includes Native American songs, traditional Protestant hymns, nineteenth-century transcendental verse, and selections from major modern and contemporary authors.
Best New Poets 2006
Meridian Press, 2006