After Following

After Following is a collection of poems inspired by what the author Burt Bradley describes as poet whisperers: from Rumi to Kerouac, Ecclesiastes to Philip Levine, Emily Dickinson to Mary Oliver. These writers and numerous others’ lives and work serve as guides in shaping the poet’s ways of seeing and reflecting upon wildness in the world. Often this  is expressed in poems depicting the severe beauty of Wyoming as well as the wide-open spaces of the inner life.

After Following is an apt, almost literal title in that it describes the process a poet develops in his or her craft. Beginning with reading and learning from the masters, great and small, following in their footsteps, after which one finds his own path, while acknowledging the mentors who served as his guides. As the last lines of After Following in “The Footprints of Whitman,” advise: “Look here, you, too, see the path ever there/winding wherever.  Follow it. It’s not about catching up with me or him,/it’s just about following.”

Burt Bradley of Yellowstone, Wyoming

Burt Bradley lives on a bluff in Northwest Wyoming seventy miles from Yellowstone National Park. For over thirty years, with his wife Janet, a photographer, he has delved into the wild serenity of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. His writing has appeared in Ring of Fire: Writers of the Yellowstone Region, Michigan Quarterly Review, Best of Writers at Work, among others.   He is currently professor emeritus at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, where he taught Writing in the Wild classes in Yellowstone and the Southwest Desert.  

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