Jari Bradley


Jari Bradley is a black genderqueer poet and scholar from San Francisco, California. Jari has received fellowships from Callaloo, Cave Canem, and Tin House. Their work has been featured in the Huffington Post, and is listed by Blavity among "15 Creatives in the Bay Area You Should Know." Jari's work has also been published in Callaloo, Hot Metal Bridge, Nomadic Ground Press, The Virginia Quarterly Review, BOAAT Journal, and Punctum Books’ Anti-Racism, Inc: Why the Way We Talk About Racial Justice Matters. Jari has an M.A. in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, and is a recent MFA candidate at the University of Pittsburgh. They currently serve as Poetry Editor of the University of Pittsburgh literary magazine, Hot Metal Bridge. Source


All I ever wanted to be was a song— 

something soft and light held in the mouth 

sung sweet beneath the coming dawn. 

I return to that first desire—its gingham blouse 


rubbed against the heavy pull of flesh hovered

in a dark that I can only recall as that dark.

I ask what grace awaits that tender tendril’s suffered

stretch of green wide enough to tear a stark 


light out from under a troubled sky? I return

to the center of that smallness and sing its wounds—

jagged rasp crooned until edged out and earned.

I was the only boi I knew dreaming in soft bruise. 


And it made me as beautiful as the blood’s slow sprawl

at my knee, right before punching a bullying boy to crawl.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Body & Body Image

Childhood & Coming of Age


LGBTQ+ Experience

Poetic Form

Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession

End Rhyme

when a poem has lines ending with words that sound the same


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic

Slant Rhyme

A rhyme where the words have similar sounds in their stressed syllables.


A poem with fourteen lines that traditionally uses a fixed rhyme scheme and meter.