Toward Antarctica

A lyric travelogue of photographs and writing by poet-naturalist Elizabeth Bradfield, who guides on ecotour ships in Antarctica. This book sounds, challenges, documents, and queries one of the world’s most iconic wild places.

Poet-naturalist Elizabeth Bradfield’s fourth collection documents and queries her work as a guide on ships in Antarctica, offering an incisive insider’s vision that challenges traditional tropes of The Last Continent. Inspired by haibun, a form the 17th-century poet Bashō invented to chronicle his journeys in remote Japan, Bradfield uses photographs, compressed prose, and short poems to examine our relationships to remoteness, discovery, expertise, awe, labor, temporary societies, tourism’s service economy, and “pure” landscapes. Antarctica was the focus of Bradfield’s Approaching Ice, written before she had set foot on the continent; now Toward Antarctica furthers her investigation with boots on the ground. A complicated love letter, Toward Antarctica offers a unique view of one of the world’s most iconic wild places.

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Modern expedition ships sail south to Antarctica every year, carrying continent-baggers and bucket-listers who drink a toast to Shackleton, pat themselves on the back and heroically claim, ‘We made it!’ It takes a poet, and a darn good one, “to at once be there and to not even come close.” This is Elizabeth Bradfield writing to the truth in what she calls, “crepuscular moments of poetry . . . Here on this unbridled ocean. Here on this world unto itself.” Having been to Antarctica many times, and studied its literature, I found this book an artful standout from the crowd, one garnished with reflection and rust, humor and humility, sincerity, and respect.”—Kim Heacox, author of Antarctica: The Last ContinentJimmy Bluefeather, and The Only Kayak


Elizabeth Bradfield ( Author Website )

Publication Date: May 9, 2019

Genre/Imprint: Boreal Books, Hybrid

$19.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-886-1

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Reviews

Toward Antarctica Review

“CAN’T JUST GO. Can’t, more to the point, just arrive, land. You must prepare yourself,” writes the poet Elizabeth Bradfield, in Toward Antarctica, a marvelous book of prose, poems, and photographs that document her tenure as […]

Terrain.org: Reviews Toward Antarctica

Reading poet Elizabeth Bradfield’s latest collection, Toward Antarctica: An Exploration, may not be as dramatic as actually visiting the continent, but it will likely be as close as many of us will get. Thanks […]
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