Environmentalism, gender identity, and poetry

December 7, 2021

The Cheshire Academy community welcomed Elizabeth Bradfield, writer and naturalist, to the school campus on Dec. 6. Throughout the day, Bradfield met with students in various classes and attended a special lunch with members of the student-led writing group and affinity group leaders.

Bradfield is the author of several works, including “Toward Antarctica,” “Once Removed,” “Approaching Ice,” and more. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, West Branch, Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, Orion, and elsewhere.

Bradfield visited Mr. Alfaiate’s Photography class, Ms. Allison Bass-Riccio’s Literature, Culture, and Expression and Creative Writing classes, and Ms. Quantick’s Environmental Science class.

Students who had lunch with Bradfield spoke candidly about their passion for writing, struggles with gender identity, and concerns for the environment. As members of the student-led writing group, they inquired how she manages the many intersections of her life in her writing, including her sexuality, the environment, and being a naturalist. According to Bradfield, poetry was “a lifeline” that helped her to feel countless emotions while growing up, including sadness, love, and anger. It served as an outlet for her to express herself, which she continues to do to this day. She encouraged the students to continue their own writing, to find their own voice, and to write about topics that interest them.

See more photos from Bradfield’s visit on our Flickr photo gallery.


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