You Don't Know What You Don't Know


You Don't Know What You Don't Know


John Bradley



John Bradley is the author of You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), Love-In-Idleness: The Poetry of Roberto Zingarello (Word Works), Terrestrial Music(Curbstone), and War on Words (BlazeVOX). His chapbook, One Day You A Mountain Shall Be: The Lost Poetry of Cheng Hui, is just out from Finishing Line Press. He edited Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age (Coffee House Press), a poetry anthology, Learning to Glow: A Nuclear Reader (University of Arizona Press), and Eating the Pure Light: Homage to Thomas McGrath(Backwaters Press).

“Reading John Bradley is like holding a flashlight and staring into the abyss. His poetic vision is, by turns, terrifying, humorous, and illuminating. Each poem conveys something of the psyche of contemporary life, the texture of our own peculiar madness, where the senseless seems normal, and logic but a figment of one’ s imagination. In this new collection, Bradley clearly establishes himself as one of the premier prose poets in our country today.” –Nin Andrews

“John Bradley’s You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know reinvigorates parables, legends, and lists to both familiarize and destabilize sacred and secular histories. By turns surreal and humorous, chilling and strange, Bradley’s work engages pop culture and politics, making a rare and intelligent music. Bradley’s linguistic prowess will have you reading these poems aloud at parties. –Denise Duhamel

“‘I once dated a woman who had a miniscule role (she bit the head off a marigold) in a movie that was never released but gained cult status mostly because it was never released.’ Thus speaks a narrator in John Bradley’s You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know, who gives hints at the shenanigans we might expect like another narrator (or is it the same guy?) who lives in a sealed cave with Madonna, who, unfortunately has no interest in sex. In the hands of a lesser poet, these scenarios would be merely amusing, but by now Bradley has become a master of creating modern parables that take on the superficiality and narcissism of our personal and public lives. No one escapes his scrutiny. And for us, that’s a good thing.” –Peter Johnson

More Information:

Cervena Barva Press Interview

Barn Owl Review

Inquire Interview



Publication Date



Cleveland State University Poetry Center





You Don't Know What You Don't Know