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  • Dream of No One but Myself

    By (author): D.M. Bradford

    An expansive, hybrid, debut collection of prose poems, self-erasures, verse, and family photo cut-ups about growing up in a racially trinary, diversely troubled family.

    Dream of No One but Myself is an interdisciplinary, lyrical unravelling of the trauma-memoir-as-proof-it’s-now-handled motif, illuminating what an auto-archival alternative to it might look like in motion. Through a complex juxtaposition of lyric verse and self-erasure, family keepsake and transformed photo, David Bradford engages the gap between the drive toward self-understanding and the excavated, tangled narratives autobiography can’t quite reconcile. The translation of early memory into language is a set of decisions, and in Dream of No One but Myself, Bradford decides and then decides again, composing a deliberately unstable, frayed account of family inheritance, intergenerational traumas, and domestic tenderness.

    More essayistic lyric than lyrical essay, this is a satisfyingly unsettling and off-kilter debut that charts, shapes, fragments, and embraces the unresolvable. These gorgeous, halting poems ultimately take the urge to make linear sense of one’s own history and diffract it into innumerable beams of light.

    AUTHOR

    D.M. Bradford

    Darby Minott Bradford is a poet, editor, and organizer based in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal). He is the author of several chapbooks, including Nell Zink is Damn Free (Blank Cheque Press, 2017) and The Plot (House House Press, 2018). His work has appeared in The Capilano Review, The Tiny, filling Station, The Fiddlehead, Carte Blanche, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and is a founding editor of House House Press. Dream of No One but Myself is his first book.

    Review

    “How does sound assemble meaning, assemble relationships across time lines, patterned, steeped, torn and adorned? David Bradford’s lyric compositions and decompositions perform narration erasures, narrating to unnarrate, visual, textual–and to somehow also live again in language, in consideration and construction, as recognition’s dream.”–Hoa Nguyen, author of A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure

    “In Dream of No One but Myself, the structural instability of a dream is mapped onto a family. It is then reflected in the mutability of poetic form. A father’s estrangement pulls a child into contradiction, toward desiring connection while straining away from that connection. Poetic form also strains, stretches from prose poems in compact rhythmic units to disjunctive works that slice across the page, to suites of anguished, cut-up family photographs and beautifully abstract, decomposing erasure works that bloom into ruinous new shapes. These formal strategies are never forced; rather, they establish a narrative that doubles – that infuses and is transformed by–the Dream of No One but Myself.“–Kaie Kellough, author of Magnetic Equator

    “Perhaps I would have held my breath for the entirety of this text if not for the wisp and grey, the ventilation surfacing in tide pools of visual poems–bramble relief against whiteout smears–watercolours, combed thru brunt and backhand. The poet’s vision, the constant footnote to a whole contingency, manages to bear, be bearable, to be here, to pull through, and with, “survivor-survivor” narratives held carefully and hauntingly. Much love and relation to the composite shards, difficult folds and dovetail joints Bradford realizes in this important book.”–Cecily Nicholson, author of Wayside Sang


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    Excerpts & Samples ×

    An expansive, hybrid, debut collection of prose poems, self-erasures, verse, and family photo cut-ups about growing up in a racially trinary, diversely troubled family.

    Dream of No One but Myself is an interdisciplinary, lyrical unravelling of the trauma-memoir-as-proof-it’s-now-handled motif, illuminating what an auto-archival alternative to it might look like in motion. Through a complex juxtaposition of lyric verse and self-erasure, family keepsake and transformed photo, David Bradford engages the gap between the drive toward self-understanding and the excavated, tangled narratives autobiography can’t quite reconcile. The translation of early memory into language is a set of decisions, and in Dream of No One but Myself, Bradford decides and then decides again, composing a deliberately unstable, frayed account of family inheritance, intergenerational traumas, and domestic tenderness.

    More essayistic lyric than lyrical essay, this is a satisfyingly unsettling and off-kilter debut that charts, shapes, fragments, and embraces the unresolvable. These gorgeous, halting poems ultimately take the urge to make linear sense of one’s own history and diffract it into innumerable beams of light.

    Reader Reviews

    Details

    Dimensions:

    112 Pages
    8.5in * 5.75in * 0.34in
    0.22lb

    Published:

    October 07, 2021

    Country of Publication:

    CA

    Publisher:

    Brick Books

    ISBN:

    9781771315609

    Book Subjects:

    POETRY / American / African American & Black

    Language:

    eng

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