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Approaching Ice

Approaching Ice Elizabeth Bradfield

Finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets

This collection portrays the gripping history of polar exploration by channeling its most notable figures — Symmes, Mawson, Scott, Cherry-Garrard, Byrd, and Shackleton among them. From their perspectives and her own, Elizabeth Bradfield relays the wonders and dangers, physical and mental, encountered while endeavoring to reach the earth's least-hospitable regions.

Praise for the Book:
“‘I’m ready to be amazed,’ Liz Bradfield writes at the outset of this powerful book. ‘I'm longing for it.’ And it is amazement—hers, ours—that often drives these poems and the stubborn, frequently stunned characters who inhabit them, the explorers who have, across the centuries, scoured the polar ice. Meticulously researched, but never stunted by research, these poems eschew easy drama to look instead at the complex desires that drive us into the earth's frozen regions—and at the haunting outcomes of those desires. In her vivid, unsentimental poetry, Bradfield is both chronicler and active lover, braiding across the pages the gloss-ice strands of history, landscape and personal longing.”—Linda Bierds

“These poems are adventures in far more than subject matter. Their themes, to be sure, involve risk and stoicism, the testing of the will and the spirit needed to confront icy wastes. This alone gives this book a splendid narrative consistency. But the poems, in terms of craft and music, push out boundaries as well. They also take risks and prove their mettle. This is a wonderful collection.”—Eavan Boland

“Approaching Ice chilled me and warmed me. It got me up walking around and thinking a million things, and threw me back down to read more. It’s a high latitude book, a storm, a soundless daybreak at the end of the world, an exquisite investigation into why we explore. I loved it.”—Kim Heacox, author of Shackleton: The Antarctic Challenge

About the Author:
Elizabeth Bradfield ( is the author of a previous collection, Interpretive Work, winner of the Audre Lorde Prize and a finalist for a Lamda Literary Award. Her poems have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, and many other publications. She is founder and co-editor of Broadsided Press, as well as a naturalist who has worked in Alaska, the Eastern Canadian Arctic and elsewhere. A recent Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, she now lives on Cape Cod.

Paperback / $15.00 (Can. $16.50) ISBN 978-0-89255-355-6 / Poetry


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