Sunday, March 1, 2009

Meet Author Mark Bradley

My guest author for March is Mark Christopher Bradley, age 27, an aspiring writer from Baltimore, Maryland, where he is currently studying as an English major in pursuit of a career as a writing teacher. Since high school Mark had delved in writing poetry. Having taken a Creative Writing class in his junior year, Mark's imagination was fueled with inspiration as he began launching a barrage of poems from heart and soul, taken from the experiences of his life. Since 2002, Mark has posted his writing online and received reviews and comments about it at Mark has published two books of his poetry to date, his first being "A Parody of Myself" in January 2003, followed by "Writing Poems in the Rain" in May 2007. He is currently working on two novels as well and seeking publication of several of his short stories.


How did you come up with the title "Writing Poems in the Rain"?

That is the title of one of the poems in the book. I thought it would make a nice presentation as to what the book is (poetry) as well as hint at one of the common themes in the book. The rain inspires me, so it comes up quite a bit throughout the book.

Tell us more about your book of poetry "Writing Poems in the Rain". You write about so many topics. How did you decide which poems to put in the book?

I wanted to put a little bit of everything in there to show the different facets of my writing. Some people stick to one subject or style, which works for them, but for me I don’t limit myself to what I write about. I also do this so that my readers can find something in particular they like.

What made you decide to self-publish your two books of poetry?

I knew that the poetry market is harder to get into by means of traditional publishers. I had no experience as far as literary magazines or journals, so I thought that I could use self-publishing as the first rung of the publishing ladder. It would get my name out there, at least, and give me a chance to start a fan base.

Do you write in other genres as well? Any other projects you want to share with us?

I’m getting more into fiction writing now, and my favorite genres are fantasy and other forms of speculative fiction. I’m currently writing a fantasy novel, as well as several short stories in various genres that I would like to put into a compilation.

Examples of Mark Bradley’s Poetry:

I Lost My Appetite
copyright 2008 Mark C. Bradley

No words have been spoken,
since the waiter left our table,
but among the din of
forks and knives clattering against plates
and the silence between,
an entire conversation ensues.
Her foot whispers to my ankle,
asking it to pass along a message to my hand
so it would sneak under the table to return the favor.
She must be drowsy;
her eyelashes keep fluttering, and
she leans into her hand, gazing at me,
dream-like, as when I first met her years ago.
The sauce from her pasta must be sticking to her lips,
for she licks them every so often,
so I hand her a napkin,
not looking her back in the eye.
She tugs her neckline downward, her face aflush.
The candles are giving off too much heat,
so I douse them with my spoon.
The air reeks of burnt wax.
I need some fresh air,
so I drop my napkin onto my plate and
leave my wife alone.

It Was Written
copyright 2007 Mark C. Bradley

Fifty eight thousand, twenty two names
That's over a hundred thousand words,
enough to write a novel,
yet never enough to tell the stories
of the ones who died there in Vietnam.
The book spread open for all to see,
etched in black granite,
written in blood and tears.
My fingers span the shiny pages,
drawing me closer to the many
faceless authors unknown to me.
They will not be forgotten.
They are the enduring characters,
protagonists forever engraved in our hearts
and reflected in the storybook of our history.

The Last Chivalrist
copyright 2006 Mark C. Bradley

Nobody ever throws their coat
over a puddle anymore,
nor do moonlit serenades reach a woman's ear.
Who champions a lady and defends her honor now?
The armor, kept long locked away
in closets hidden from sight,
doesn't shine like it used to.
Besides, maidens don't like to see tarnish anyway,
so I go off to rescue my damsel
in plain clothes, unlike the suitors that woo her
with their fancy vestments and shiny adornments.
I know the real valor lies in the heart underneath
where true chivalry is not dead after all.

copyright 2006 Mark C. Bradley

On a sultry summer evening,
in a field of clover,
I went catching fireflies.
Like collecting dreams in a jar,
I chased the glows in the night.
As I caught one in midflight,
the firefly illuminated the jar,
and I watched, dazzled by its mystery
and its love of light.
But I would not hold on for long,
or the dream would soon fade
into the darkness of memory.

Check out Mark’s blog site:

My next post in a few days will highlight Mark Bradley's latest poetry book, "Writing Poems in the Rain". Please drop back by and check out his book.




Vivian Zabel said...

Welcome, Mark. I can say that we've actually met, twice.

Thanks for hosting him, Harry, and for giving us a sample of his work.

Crystalee said...

Thanks for hosting Mark, Harry. :-) I'm confident he'll grow even more as a poet and writer. I've already seen improvements since Writing Poems in the Rain. *thumbsup*

Of course,I may be a little biased, because when a book contains poems about you, you tend to think it's great. ;-)

Dorothy Massey said...

I really enjoyed reading about Mark and his poems. I liked each poem for a different reason. Mark's poetry is fresh and thought-provoking. Dorothy Massey

Penny said...

Hey Mark, I love your poetry! You do beautiful work, keep it up!

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

It's really great to read about an up and coming new poet. Although Poetry is not my forte, what I did read here was great.

Great interview, Harry.

A pleasure to have met you, Mark.

Mark Bradley said...

Thank you for hosting me, Harry! I like the selections you picked of my poems. They really show the diversity of what I write about. :-)

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Harry, wonderful post.

Mark, I love your poems, especially, I Lost My Appetite. You convey the 'knowing' without speaking between couples who are together for a long time.


Donna M. McDine said...

Great samplings of Harry work. He is quite the impressive young man and I look foward to learning more about hm.

Donna McDine
Marketing Manager

Sally Murphy said...

Great post, Harry and Mark.
I ahve just attended two days of a poetry festival, and so enjoyed your poems immensely.

Harry Gilleland said...

A big "thank you" to all who stopped by and especially to all who posted a comment. Please drop in regularly!



Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Harry, great for you to bring us this new, talened poet.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest Best 101 Websites pick,