Interpretive Work

Interpretive Work

by Elizabeth Bradfield


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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."

From neighborhood kids cussing in the cul-de-sac to marbled murrelets calling in Southeast Alaska, the poems of this book reach toward a moment where one finds "this unsettlement, / this beauty applauded at last."

Bradfield delivers her bruised truths through a quiet honesty that stands in ardent defense of mainstream normative expectations. A male singer has a woman's high, sweet voice, redefining beauty. A female deer grows antlers. A woman chooses to be child-free without regret. As a whole, these poems furtively suggest that the tourist on the sunset cruise ship misinterprets the cravings of humpback whales in the same way Bradfield's family, neighbors and bureaucratic officials misunderstand love, sexuality and gender.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780980040715
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 03/01/2008
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and has since called Cape Cod and Alaska home. She holds an MFA from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and has received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship as well as scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Vermont Studio Center. Her poetry has been published in such journals as The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Field, The Believer and Orion. She is founder and editor of Broadsided Press (, a modern incarnation of the traditional broadside with the mission of putting words and art on the streets.

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Interpretive Work 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Luna__Earth More than 1 year ago
I love Bradfield's evocative images and moving prose! She's talented, engaging and guides us to see, with new light! She guides us to see things in nature in new unexpected ways.