Cannot Predict Now is a curated Q&A series by Katy Telling of Poetic Rituals featuring the most original contemporary experimental writers and visual poets. This week discuss the constraints of language, labyrinths, and more with Luke Bradford.
1. Who are you?
I’m Luke Bradford, an experimental poet, born and raised outside of Boston and now living in Brooklyn.
2. Describe your current project.
My largest work in progress is a collection of reverse lipograms: texts in which every word must contain a particular letter of the alphabet.
3. Which artist or movement has most impacted what you create?
4. Are there recurring symbols in your work?
Yes. The ocean, the moon, and snow are obsessions of mine, and animals and labyrinths are central to my work.
5. Which writer or aspect of language has most impacted your perspective?
The aspect of language that drives me most is that human beings have a vast internal machinery for processing it, which means they approach text, including experimental text, with a delicate emotional radar that’s impossible to turn off.
6. Describe the environment in which you create.
Usually, I write in the early morning in a small office in my apartment in Brooklyn, on a glass desk facing a brick wall.
7. What are your preferred art supplies and mediums?
All of my work is created on a laptop.
8. Is there a hidden part of you accessed only through your creative process and works?
Yes! I’m passionate about using formal constraints on language to unearth a voice that isn’t entirely mine, a voice created in collaboration with language itself. In many cases this voice is alien, dreamlike, mechanical, or otherwise different than my own.
9. Do you consider art or writing to be a meditative or spiritual practice?
Yes. Writing is a meditative experience for me, and my work is finished only after I’ve spent time in the very quiet space the work creates.
10. Describe your future masterpiece.
I don’t know exactly what it will look like, but I know it will take an immense amount of labor to build.