Alaska Shorts: Visiting with AQR featuring Elizabeth Bradfield

Throughout the next few months, we’ll be featuring excerpts of writing by Alaskans who’ve been published in Alaska Quarterly Review. AQR is published by the University Alaska Anchorage and is without a doubt one of the nation’s best literary magazines, as noted by The Washington Post Book World. Each issue of AQR is rich with fine writing and social consequence. We hope by featuring this work on the 49 Writers blog, you’ll be enticed to look further into this fine publication.

This week’s selection is from a seven part poem by Elizabeth Bradfield in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Volume 30, No. 3 & 4, Fall and Winter 2013.


I. Verb: To melt away or disappear as if by melting
How many hours have I stood before water
attempting this? And when did the urge begin?
I can feel concrete beneath my feet, wooden rail under
wind, blackberries scenting up the steep, clay bank
that the stairs followed down
in a suspended, wobbled reach to the beach. Always
a gull hovering at eye level, at rest in wind. Was I five?
Five, nine, sixteen, I stood and stared at the bay,
at water, at what I might (oh, soft persistent hope)
   dissolve to.
Italian has a better word: liquescere. To
become liquid.
    Liquiscere. Liquiscere.
The world whispered, whispers to me.

~Elizabeth Bradfield

To read the rest of this beautiful poem, go to the AQR website
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