Monday, June 12, 2017

"Learning to Swim" by Elizabeth Bradfield

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June 12, 2017

Learning to Swim

Elizabeth Bradfield

About This Poem


"I've been thinking a lot about how to express gratitude and still hold awareness of privilege in all its complexity. I am fortunate to have a love of and comfort in swimming and the sea thanks to my mom's efforts and the resources of the community where I grew up. Later, in the difficult years before I came out as queer, water was a necessary and life-saving escape. My adult awareness also holds a radically different association—the history of the Middle Passage of the slave trade. While reading Aracelis Girmay's The Black Maria and Bob Hicok's poems (including the one of this title), this poem found its voice."
—Elizabeth Bradfield


Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of Once Removed (Persea Books, 2015). She teaches at Brandeis University and works as a naturalist on small ships.


Photo credit: Lisa Sette


Poetry by Bradfield


Once Removed

(Persea Books, 2015)

"from The Black Maria" by Aracelis Girmay


"Go Greyhound" by Bob Hicok


"Summoning the Body That Is Mine When I Shut My Eyes" by Jenny Johnson


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