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Interpretive Work

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Poems by Elizabeth Bradfield.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Red Hen Press (first published 2008)
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When Eloise Klein Healy announced she would edit an imprint for Red Hen Press, I eagerly awaited the first publication under the Arktoi label. Interpretive Work by Bradfield is that book—a collection that surpasses all of my expectations, but not quickly or without effort for this book is meant to be chewed slowly as the title suggests. At first, I found the title curious and not especially provocative. Then I turned the book over looking for clues about the meaning, and I found a poem, “No More ...more
I fear I don't have words big enough to encompass the bright world contained in this book.

I have been drawing out the reading of it, so as to make it last that much longer. That's what you do with a book of poems this amazing. You skip around. You read page 12 and then jump forward to page 88. You hope that you miss a few, so when you flip through it next week you can be surprised by the discovery of a new one, unread.

I discovered Elizabeth Bradfield entirely by accident at a Bernal Heights poe
I found myself slightly disappointed with the poems in the first section, which disappointed me in myself, because many of these poems are biology based. I did start off in the biology world when I started school. But the collection picks up in tremendous ways. I love the Butch Poem series and the the moments that seem most personal. This collection is full of love, science, politics, and did I mention love. Great read.
A thoughtful collection of poems, connective tissue threading throughout. Elizabeth Bradfield is very good at manipulating perspective. I especially liked the poems, Sweater for a Giant Squid, Concering the Proper Term for a Whale Exhaling, Collecting, and Whalefall.
"Butch Poem 4: Losing a Father"

"Wednesday Night, 9:30 pm at the Convenience Store"

"Splitters & Joiners"

"Notes to Self on Comfot"

"Love Song of the Transgeneticist"

"Cul-de-sac Linguistics"

I'm head over heels crazy about the poems I've already read in this superb poet's first book. Now I'm just looking forward to spring break so I can take it with me and read the rest of 'em...
Oct 01, 2011 Aran rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
She keeps ruining her own damn poems--backing away from weirdness, tidying them up at the end, making them political. Really damn annoying.
Jan 26, 2010 Lee added it
Terrific poems.
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Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2008). She grew up in Tacoma, Washington, has made a home on Cape Cod and in Alaska, and is currently perched in California, where she is a Wallace Stegner fellow in poetry at Stanford University.

Liz is editor of Broadsided (, a modern incarnation of the traditional broadside. Her poe
More about Elizabeth Bradfield...
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