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D.M. Bradford | Issue 30
"Not a poem but a succession of little cuts."
Excerpt: Bottom Rail on Top from “stock”
© D.M Bradford, from Bottom Rail on Top (Brick Books, 2023)
Darby Minott Bradford is a poet and translator based in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal). Bradford is the author of Dream of No One but Myself (Brick Books, 2021), which won the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, was longlisted for the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal, and was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize, Governor General’s Literary Awards, and Gerard Lampert Memorial Award. House Within a House by Nicholas Dawson, Bradford's first translation, was published in 2023 by Brick Books. Bottom Rail on Top is their second book.
Bottom Rail on Top by D.M. Bradford Brick Books, 2023
Somewhere in the cut between Harriet Jacobs and surveillance, Southampton and sneaker game, Lake Providence and the supply chain, Bottom Rail on Top sets off a mediation between the complications of legacy and selfhood. In a kind of archives-powered unmooring of the linear progress story, award-winning poet D.M. Bradford fragments and recomposes American histories of antebellum Black life and emancipation, and stages the action in tandem with the matter of his own life. Amidst echoes and complicities, roots and flights, lineage and mastery, it’s a story of stories told in knots and asides, held together with paper trails, curiosities, and hooks—a study that doesn’t end.
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