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