Sea Called Fruitfulness

Publisher's description: In this collection of lyric poems responding to a 1651 lunar map, the narrator ponders the motivation and lives of the two seventeenth-century astronomers who created this map, also exploring terrains of achievement and failure, intimacy and solitude, celibacy and fertility, certainty and unknowing.

Sample poems: You can listen to the poet reading "Rare Earth Theory" and "Diffracted," both of which appear in Sea Called Fruitfulness.

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Reviews and Responses

" 'What interests me most about a work of art is the artist's quality of mind,' said Henry James famously. Add heart and spirit and engaging intersecting stories and you get what interests me most about Martha Carlson-Bradley's Sea Called Fruitfulness. What she teases out of the lives and life's work of two seventeenth-century Jesuit astronomers creates the character of the writer of this book that is itself a kind of moon map in which we vividly see our own very human faces. This picture is also a wonder, because Martha Carlson-Bradley draws it so well." — Michael Ryan

"Gazing upon the moon, we become, like Riccioli and Grimaldi, amazed scientists of human nature, studying it, naming it. The reader, and the poet, become astronomers of the heart and mind." — Mary Ann Sullivan,
Tower Journal

"Sea Called Fruitfulness … addresses ideas that are contemporary and historical, individual and communal, and emotional and intellectual. [Carlson-Bradley's] poems brim with visceral imagery — flies landing on fruit and tripe in a market, gall bladder removal, “the wafer, Giovanni, working / its miracle — body of Christ — on the hot / damp expanse of the tongue.” They are lyrical, rich in sound and rhythm. … [A] thoughtful, expressive collection." — Deb Baker, "The Mindful Reader," Concord (NH) Monitor