89.1 WEMU

Northern Michigan Author Sticks With His U.P. Roots While Writing Poetry And Book Series

Dec 24, 2019

Lake Picture
Credit Benegemah Press / bgbooksup.com

B.G. Bradley has lived in Michigan's Upper Peninsula his entire life.  He has authored a series of books set in the northern part of the state and will soon be publishing a book of poetry, which includes a poem for every day of the year.  He spoke with WEMU's Lisa Barry about his writing and the inspiration he gathers living in the northern part of the state with its rough weather and natural beauty.


About B.G. Bradley

B.G. Bradley
Credit Benegemah Press / bgbooksup.com

B.G. BRADLEY is a retired high school teacher, former newspaper reporter and columnist, part time college professor, poet, novelist, playwright, director and actor.

His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in various regional publications including Detroit Sunday Magazine, Michigan Out-of-Doors, Passages North, Sidewalks, Foxcry Review, The Marquette Mining Journal, and The Newberry News.

His plays have appeared on local stages including the Lake Superior Theatre which in 2010 produced his Lake Stories, a prequel to this novel, which he wrote, directed, and starred in as Ben O’Brian opposite NMU’s Dr. Shelley Russell as Grace.

Bradley's Poetry

B.G. Bradley reads his poem "Lake Stories" below.  You can find more of Mr. Bradley's poems at his "North Words with Beeg" Facebook page.

Lake Picture
Credit North Words with Beeg / facebook.com

LAKE STORIES

Stories that float on this wet essence. 

Between the cool, rich pines and the insatiable cattails.

Stories of this cold, clear lake.

Stories that flow over gravel fires and under wet, bear paws.

Stories that drift in the colors of dawn over northern waters.

Stories that disappear in the ebony of new moon.

Waxed to full with August passing aged around beech fires that speak and maple growls and bird whispers.

But never drowned the sounds of the water's relentless rush to shore.

Stories we tell to our children.

Who huddle close near us in the sand and conspire with each other in way past their bedtime glances.

They listen as we did to ancient tales and beg, "Just one more, please.  One more."

All those stories of wild uncles, wily aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, old friends.

With beings like stitch, bump, bail, buck, shine.

Lopeared dogs with wise eyes, central to canine tales all their own.

And Mom and Dad in inconceivable younger days.

All mixing then and now with wolves in the hemlock woods.

Ears so close, our laughter quickens their ever-startled hearts.

Porgis gnawing the cedar shakes.

Beaver tails slapping warnings to quiet us.

Sand hills drumming, chortling their flight calls.

Loons shrilling and wailing in the darkness.

Coyotes celebrating in the valley across the water.

The squeaking wings of bufflehead ducks.

The comic quack of mallards.

And the haunting calls of Canada geese and morning mist.

All parts, all paragraphs, sentences, words, syllables, songs.

In this story, we here have been writing.

Since Kingfisher first dove from a tamarack branch.

Eagle first eyed the northern air.

Fox first found his bristled den.

Always these lake stories.

Reflected in the emerald of your eyes.

On this cold night.

By the fire.

By the water.

This one lake story we have made here.

You and I.

That many have made here.

Of feathers and quills.

Eggit stone and pine tars.

Composing those old words.

Washed in the light and dark water.

Of our mother's love.

Our northern dreams.

These lake stories.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu