Poetry Titles

The Waywiser Press, 2011

Published simultaneously in The United States and The United Kingdom, this book turns to subjects as varied as 9/11, Kurdish carpets, Italian food recipes and mediocre film Westerns, treating them with reverence, affection, and reflection as the occasion demands.   

“Each of this poet’s previous collections has been an event. A Few of Her Secrets may be his finest collection yet. It is a rare pleasure to witness a poet exulting in all the registers of language and having such enormous delight in his art.”  

– Eric Ormsby

Knopf, 2001

Meditating on contemporary culture, on the natural world, and on the life of the poet, Some Assembly Required savors both the riveting accident of everyday life and the long view afforded by art in poetry that is taut, witty and dynamic.  

 “Most of these poems are bravura acts of high spirits, of an agile, daredevil mind and a rich and happy vocabulary. George Bradley’s assurance and command are always in evidence, and his achievement is delightful throughout.”

– Anthony Hecht

Yale University Press, 1998 (editor)

This anthology of the longest-running poetry series in The United States tells the story of American poetry in the twentieth century. Prefaced by an eighty-page historical overview, the volume contains poems selected from the first book by each of the ninety-two poets who comprised the series from 1919 through 1998.

“An important and elegant history of American poetry – how it has been written, received, and read over the course of the century. It is a fascinating survey of the shifting tides in this country’s literary taste.”

– J.D. McClatchy

Knopf, 1996

As up to date as the current cosmography, as steeped in traditional as ancient agriculture, The Fire Fetched Down overflows with energy, humor and intellectual curiosity. 

“George Bradley’s The Fire Fetched Down earns its Promethean title, and helps persuade me that American poetry will go on maintaining itself as a high art.  Everything in The Fire Fetched Down will sustain, and reward, many readings.” 

– Harold Bloom

Knopf, 1991

The poems in this second volume of Bradley’s verse embody a wide variety of structure and stance, both lyric and narrative. They amplify the metaphysical ambition that characterizes Bradley’s work and deal with the only two subjects finally available to any author: the mystery of human consciousness and the unassimilable fact of death.

“In George Bradley’s new book there is a kind of nonplussed wisdom, generated by all the energies of detachment without withdrawal, of wonder without ignorance, of conviction without fanaticism.  If it were not so easy on the ear and eye, such poetry would be called sublime–I think it is sublime anyway.” 

– Richard Howard

Yale University Press, 1986

Poems concerning art, science and travel make up this volume, which was the winning volume in the 1985 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. The judge that year was James Merrill, who wrote: “George Bradley belongs to a tradition of philosophical poets that includes Lucretius and Wallace Stevens . . . he has attained that rightness of wording which is a poet’s best chance of being remembered.”

From publishersweekly.com:

“Merrill compares Bradley, the 81st winner in the Yale Series of Younger Poets, to Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens and Constantine Cavafy. Deservedly high praise, not only because Bradley is a poet of serious aims but because of his coolness, his elegance, his objectivity. His language is studied, precise and unmetaphorical, a music that suggests his influences without imitating them. Like Moore, he focuses on the empirical world. Like Cavafy, his imagination encompasses vast sweeps of history. Like Stevens, he enthrones the idea of the mind. Yet he outpaces these three in his studies of advanced physics; some of his poems seem to give new dimension to time and existence. Taken together, this collection stands as a tribute to man’s achievement and ingenuity as artist, builder, technocrat and thinker. This is an exceedingly fine work.”