If I Take You Here

Publisher's description: When you stand amid the rubble that was the house your mother grew up in and where you visited grandparents, the mind and heart grasp at fragments of memories. These poems, glorious and sad, are this story. Adastra Press, 2011.

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Reviews and Responses

"You really should read this haunting and lovely poem for yourself, and see what Carlson-Bradley calls the 'crumbling left margin,' a visual clue to what she's found as she enters [her grandfather's] farm house. The poem's left justification is very uneven, with indentation varying line to line, alluding to that roughened outer edge [of memory]. She told the audience at Gibson’s that she was deliberate in her use of visual structure, … employing variegated indentation to represent her sense that visiting a memory as a physical place is a disorientation of time. I can’t think of another book of poems whose structure so brilliantly complements the theme." ~ Deb Baker, Bookconscious

"Martha Carlson-Bradley has woven together poems of appealing and clear images that churn up visuals as you read. … [The poems evoke] everyday things that we tend to overlook, even as poets, because we are too busy with our own lives, our own language to notice the obvious and make it not only creatively accessible to a reader, but provide a quick, Oh, I wish I’d thought of that." ~ Zvi A. Sesling, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene

"There is something so tangible about the tour the reader takes through the house, that it seems the memory of the house is the actual house.  And, more than that, Carlson-Bradley's use of the first person in these poems makes the home our home. She is a master of tone, a poet with access to the suspended space of ideas, and the land of the forms. … This small chapbook is a pleasure all around, an indescribable experience where the past becomes the present, where ideas become real, and where the reader visits a house that no longer exists."
~ Mary Ann Sullivan,
Tower Journal

Reviews of Carlson-Bradley’s Previous Works

"What makes Carlson-Bradley's work so intriguing is the details she offers, how she places the reader into the life of the character so effectively with just a few spare words." ~ Keith Demanche, The (Portsmouth, NH) Wire

"These are haunting poems. … They are enchanting not only for their subject matter but for their timing, the skill with which they are crafted, the precision of their language." ~ Jane Eklund, Monadnock Ledger