I am back home after spending the past four days in the Bay Area where I did five events in three days (a workshop visit to Mills College, a reading at 851, featuring at the Berkeley Poetry Slam, a reading and a Q & A at two different campuses of City College of San Francisco) and the experience has been a needed recharge of the creative batteries. Here are some of the highlights:

  • I’ve never read in a squatter space before, as lit by candlelight but there’s a magic in the 851 Reading Series I haven’t quite felt ever before. It works because it is a little dangerous and irreverent, the way poetry should be.

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  • Featuring at the Berkeley Poetry Slam was a lot of fun (and it was KMA Sullivan’s first time at a slam, which she also enjoyed). It was a good crowd that really listened to poetry and it felt good to do mostly memorized work at the show.

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  • I was spoiled by the quality of the work I heard from Wendy Chin-Tanner, Hannah Gamble, Danez Smith, KMA Sullivan, and Matthew Siegel. I haven’t been inspired by poetry like that in a long, long time.
  • Hanging out with everyone after readings – I really missed that a lot. I haven’t had time to really do that with work and the fact I got to finally meet Janey Smith, and have drinks and good conversation while I was out on this leg was great.

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  • The City College readings had great Q & A sessions. Our final show the Q & A ran so long, that it took up the entire class (almost three hours). I want to make myself as available as I can to colleges and what not to do this kind of thing. It was awesome the conversations we had when answering questions from students.

I’m not doing any readings for two weeks but I have some stuff coming up in Florida. I will talk about those shows a bit more as they come.

Borderline Poetry published an excerpt from my long form poem A Ballet of Growth, which you can check out here.

The Bones of Us is officially out in the world. If you are in Orlando and want a copy, I will have them available for purchase. If you are not in Orlando, get it here. You won’t be disappointed.

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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 iheartfailure.net.

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