March 2, 2014

That Post AWP Recap

I’m just going to ramble on this one because a lot of things happened.

  • I finally got to see and feel The Bones of Us for real and it was like all the best Christmases I ever had in that moment. The book is exquisite (and I’m not just saying that because it’s mine and Adam’s work, I am saying that because it looks and feels incredible).
  • I have never been part of a poetry reading where every single poet on the bill knows how to read their work until the YesYes Books celebration on Thursday. Dorothea Lasky, Lynn Melnick, Phillip B. Williams, and Danniel Schoonebeek killed it in the room. I performed poems from The Bones of Us accompanied by projections of the excerpts I read from and it was well received. All those years of working with PowerPoint slide decks and performing slam poetry paid off in that moment. As a bonus, a lot of Orlando peeps who were at AWP came to the show and that was extra awesome.
  • The PSYCCity Seattle reading was incredible. On top of hearing Phillip B. Williams read again, I also heard Matthew Dickman, Matt Hart, Roger Reeves, Tanya Olson. All of them were great, but Tanya’s work was my favorite of the show. This was another poetry show where the poets knew how to read their work to a crowd and do so well.
  • Hanging out at the YesYes Books table was a lot of fun, and way less stressful than calling it an author signing. I talked to people, ran into people I knew, even sold some copies of the book. 


  • I hung out with Laura a lot. We did slightly touristy things, had great food and coffee. We even had date night last night before we parted today (I’m on tour for the next couple of weeks for The Bones of Us). Seattle has amazing food and coffee. Because of Laura, I was at AWP in small doses and that helped a lot in processing everything.
  • An excerpt of The Bones of Us was used in the “Writing Comics The AWP Way” panel. I have Nathan Holic to thank for that and his continued support of the project. It was an excellent panel and was really cool to actually be in the room when it happened.
  • Meeting most of the YesYes Books family was awesome, and the word “family” is the best way to describe the crew that runs YesYes and Vinyl and the other authors (past, present, and future). All of them are talented, down to earth people. I am humbled that I am a part of this crew.
  • Hanging out with Jason Cook over at Ampersand Books for the first time in three years was long overdue. He’s a lot of fun.
  • I got to meet and/or hug folks from Passages North and Lunch Ticket. The Antioch MFA crew was especially nice to see.
  • Purchasing Simon Jacob’s first book at the Spork Press table. I published one of the pieces when I was the Poetry Editor for the Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review briefly. The book looks incredible (and will soon be available through Spork’s website). Simon is an incredibly talented writer and I look forward to digging into this collection.


I am officially in Portland. This week, I am doing two readings and two workshops. Here are details about one of the readings in Portland.

Thursday, March 6 – Now’s Hours – Episode 15 – 7:30 PST
Anna Bananas, 2430 NE Alberta Street
Readings by: J. Bradley, Danniel Schoonebeek, Wendy Chin-Tanner, Julia Clare Tillinghast, Rachel Springer-Dunbar, Ross Robbins

I’ll post details about other readings as I get them while I’m here and also next week’s readings and workshops in California.

If you aren’t in Portland this week, or Oakland, San Francisco, or Berkeley next week, you can still pre-order your copy of The Bones of Us here.


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About J. Bradley

J. Bradley's is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), and the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at

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