Poetry. Winner of the 2009 Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Competition. A collection of prose poems that might be described as Franz Kafka and Frida Kahlo going out for a date at Coney Island. The book reflects what happens when you drop an American history textbook, an issue of People, and a short history of dreams into a blender.
Author City: Dekalb, IL USA
John Bradley is the author of five books: LOVE-IN-IDLENESS: THE POETRY OF ROBERTO ZINGARELLO (The Word Works, 2015), Terrestrial Music, War on Words, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010), and Trancelumination. He has edited three anthologies: Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age; Learning to Glow: A Nuclear Reader; and EATING PURE LIGHT: HOMAGE TO THOMAS MCGRATH (The Backwaters Press, 2009). Recipient of two NEA fellowships and a Pushcart Prize, he teaches at Northern Illinois University.
Reviews and Other Links
Gary L. McDowell's Best Poetry Books of 2010@ No Tells
Mike Krutel @ Barn Owl Review
interview by H. L. Hix @ In Quire
“Reading John Bradley is like holding a flashlight and staring into the abyss. His poetic vision is, by turns, terrifying, humorous, and illuminating. Each poem conveys something of the psyche of contemporary life, the texture of our own peculiar madness, where the senseless seems normal, and logic but a figment of one’s imagination. In this new collection, Bradley clearly establishes himself as one of the premier prose poets in our country today”
“Bradley’s YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW reinvigorates parables, legends, and lists to both familiarize and destabilize sacred and secular histories. By turns surreal and humorous, chilling and strange, Bradley’s work engages pop culture and politics, making a rare and intelligent music. Bradley’s linguistic prowess will have you reading these poems aloud at parties.”
“Amid the current prosperity of the prose poem, there are masters responsible for the rise of the form and Bradley is one of them. The result is a poetry that goes beyond the tradition by finding different approaches toward revelation and mystery. This book proves that a lifetime commitment to one’s art is also the road to a language where the prose poem is the center of all things. Reading this book honors those who have changed poetry, but also welcomes those who are about to be transformed by encountering the idea of ‘paragraph.’”