Tom Bradley

Poet, Fiction Writer

Author's Bio

Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius.
--Denis Dutton, editor of Arts & Letters Daily ("among the most influential media personalities in the world," Time Magazine 14 June 2004, U.S. edition)

The contemporaries of Michelangelo found it useful to employ the term terribilita to characterize some of the expressions of his genius, and I will quote it here to sum up the shocking impact of this novel as a whole. I read it in a state of fascination, admiration, awe, anxiety, and outrage.
--R.V. Cassill, editor of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction

Bradley's characters tend to be less than respectable, yet imbued with a ferocious sense of the absurd, which is essential for survival and sanity--or at least what passes for sanity--in environments akin to madhouses...Dr. Bradley is a Class-A tongue-in-cheek satirist, and some of his sharpest barbs are those that zoom in on the pompous and pretentious world of modern--or post-modern--literature.
--Pacific Rim Review of Books

...impressive, funny, pleasantly challenging, and utterly unique.
--Dennis Loy Johnson, Moby Lives

The real point of reading Bradley, aside from his illumination of the ridiculous and grotesque world around us, is the rolling cadence of his pitch-perfect writing. We prize competent prose here at Danse Macabre, but we absolutely adore the rich, coloratura tones of Bradley's work, the strong, steady voice guiding us with spot-on verbiage and heady switchbacks to revelations by turns disgusting, divine, and gut-bustingly hilarious.
--James Kendley, Danse Macabre

When is the world going to wake up to the genius of Tom Bradley? ...one of the most criminally underrated authors on the planet.
--Andrew Gallix, 3:am Magazine

Beyond the flawless surface of his stylistic facility, I am most impressed by Tom Bradley's ability to walk the edge of a tone that is simultaneously irreverent and profoundly serious. His work derives from the tradition of bawdy and absurdist black comedy of the late sixties, but is not an imitative slave to that tradition. It seems to me that Bradley has learned well from that generation of authors, but has mitigated their example with an even more traditional moral seriousness. It is a delight to be able to laugh aloud when one reads, and it is even more satisfying when there is a significant point to the laughter.

--Gordon Weaver, author of The Way We Know in Dreams

Tom Bradley is the libertine that Camille Paglia tries to portray herself as, in order to keep her Jocasta fantasies at bay.
--Jonathan Penton, "When Spencer met Hannibal: Recreational Cannibalism in the New American Century"

The fetid swamp of patriotism. The vapid legacy of TV culture. The intolerable stench of America's meat-based habits. Tom Bradley has seen it all coming and given it an inimitable voice. His prose delights as it slices and carves. His ideas entertain even as they challenge and provoke. We finally have a term for what falls between fiction and non-fiction: Bradley.
--Mickey Z., author of Dear Vito

Brilliant evocative writing. Bizarre imagination let free--an enviable skill. 
--Consuelo Roland, author of The Good Cemetery Guide

A drowning tide of ebullient doom...
--Phil Rockstroh

Tom Bradley is a writer of truly extravagant gifts...It is remarkable to me that anyone who writes at such length could have an ear as fine as his for the rhythms of prose--but every sentence is considered, balanced and felicitous... I'd be hard pressed to think of any writer who has Bradley's stamina, his range, his learning, his felicity.
--Stephen Goodwin, author of Blood in Paradise

Bradley's trajectory of books, from the early SAM EDWINE NOVELS up through the mesmeric satire of VITAL FLUID and essay collections like PUT IT DOWN IN A BOOK, is toward a geist where categories have yet to be described. The fastenings and joineries of his new textual and graphic ubiety are measured in calibrations from some other dimension where the usual sockets and taper points of critical disassembly have to be replaced. Even with that, FAMILY ROMANCE is deviously structured to lead conclusion jumpers straight to the Hall of Laughter.
--NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu's Exquisite Corpse Journal

It takes a twisted sense of humor to appreciate this lunatic scholar, degenerate Harold Bloom, and biblical madman.
--John-Ivan Palmer, nthposition Magazine

I found Acting Alone to have an incredible energy level.
--Stanley Elkin, author of A Bad Man

Tom Bradley gives the reader a dazzling array of characters who are larger-than-life, while tragically and comically very human, and brings the lines of the lives they lead into connection with often explosive and always engaging results...His narrative voice vaults across an amazing range to reflect the different voices of the characters...and takes the reader through a technically facile narrative that begins with controlled wildness and a touch of the absurd, and escalates from there...Bradley gives us humor and pathos, antics and consequences, action and reaction, and the possibility of change for the better.
--Cimarron Review

Tom Bradley, this enormously misplaced exile, as he enters his second quarter century commuting back and forth between Hiroshima and "Naga-etcetera," would make Lafcadio Hearn reel with laughter, if not shake his head in wonder. 
--Lolita Lark, editor of RALPH Magazine

...an astute thinker and a stylist of rare brilliance...more than lives up to the glowing recommendation....expressed with great insight and charm...
--Harold Lime

Tom Bradley is one of the most misunderstood and ill-appreciated master-writers on the planet... This spectacular literary Lucifer, star of the East, talks like Hume might be imagined to have spoken to the comely Grisettes of pre-Revolutionary Paris (Well, here we are, young ladies! Here we are!)...
--Jesse Glass, author of The Lost Poet

I tell you that Dr. Bradley has devoted his existence to writing, number one, because it's fun (I mean the big complicated fun that none of us can ever hope to imagine, except during infinitesimally brief and rare moments in nature), and, number two, because he intends for every center of consciousness, everywhere, in all planes and conditions (not just terrestrial female Homo sapiens in breeding prime) to love him, forever, starting as soon as possible, though he's prepared to wait thousands of centuries after he's dead, or even longer if it turns out to be necessary. That's the ambition he cherishes. Talk about an ability to defer gratification...
--Cye Johan, Critical Appendix, Fission Among the Fanatics (Spuyten Duyvil Books, NYC)

Publications & Prizes

Fiction

Books:
Black Class Cur (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019)
,
Put It Down In a Book (Dog Horn Publishing, 2019)
,
My Hands Were Clean (Unlikely Books, 2016)
,
Three Screenplays (Dog Horn Publishing, 2016)
,
New Cross-Fucked Musings on a Manic Reality (Dog Horn Publishing, 2015)
,
This Wasted Land (with Marc Vincenz) (Lavender Ink, 2015)
,
A Pleasure Jaunt with One of the Sex Workers Who Don't Exist in the People's Republic of China (NeoPoiesis Press, 2013)
,
Elmer Crowley, a Katabasic Nekiya (Mandrake Press, 2013)
,
Felicia's Nose (with Carol Novack and Nick Patterson) (MadHat Press, 2012)
,
Family Romance (Jaded Ibis Press, 2012)
,
Epigonesia (with Kane X. Faucher) (BlazeVOX books, 2010)
,
Hemorrhaging Slave of an Obese Eunuch (NeoPoiesis Press, 2010)
,
Bomb Baby (Crossing Chaos, 2010)
,
Even the Dog Won't Touch Me (Ahadada Books, 2009)
,
Vital Fluid (Crossing Chaos, 2009)
,
Lemur (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2008)
,
Fission Among the Fanatics (Spuyten Duyvil, 2007)

Poetry

Books:
Injuring Eternity: a Künstlerroman in Twenty-Six Cantos (Guernica Editions, 2020)
,
Useful Despair as Taught to the Hemorrhaging Slave of an Obese Eunuch (MadHat Press, 2020)
,
Energeticum/Phantasticum: a Profane Epyllion in Seven Cantos (MadHat Press, 2017)
,
We'll See Who Seduces Whom: a Graphic Ekphrasis in Verse (Unlikely Books, 2013)
Prizes won: 

Various of my novels have been nominated for the Editor's Book Award, the New York University Bobst Prize, and the AWP Series. 3:AM Magazine gave me the Nonfiction Book of the Year Award in 2007 and 2009, and one of my latest graphic novels is excerpted in last year's &Now Award Anthology. 

Personal Favorites

Favorite authors: 
Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, Cowper, Wordsworth, Browning

More Information

Fluent in: 
English
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Last update: Apr 06, 2020