Arts & Culture » Arts Stories & Interviews

‘The Bones of Us’

Local poet J. Bradley’s new book deals with the death of love




by J. Bradley and Adam Scott Mazer | 76 pages | YesYes Books | available March 15 at

Although Jesse Bradley is a well-regarded performance poet and curator of prose reading series There Will Be Words, he’s no stranger to the printed word. The Bones of Us is his ninth published collection since 2009, and his stories and poems have appeared in dozens of magazines and journals. This latest, however, is the first one to be illustrated, and it’s all down to publisher YesYes Books.

The Bones of Us began when my eventual ex-wife began moving out of our apartment in April 2010. The collection deals with the death of a marriage, of love, and the recovery from that death,” says Bradley from the road. (Like almost every literary type you know, he was in Seattle at the AWP conference and book fair last week.) “KMA Sullivan, YesYes Books publisher, came up with the idea of turning the poems into a graphic poetry collection. YesYes approached [Brooklyn illustrator Adam Scott Mazer] with working on the book and he sent a couple of samples that floored us.”

Mazer’s input turns The Bones of Us from a typical chapbook into a black-and-white graphic novel charting Bradley’s year of anger and acceptance. See a few examples at our culture blog, The Gist (

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