William Bradley, a Brilliant Essayist Gone Too Soon
August 29, 2017 § 12 Comments
By Dinty W. Moore
The nonfiction community lost a bright intellect and fierce advocate yesterday with the death of our friend William Bradley.
William wrote of his battle with cancer and the love he had for his wife Emily this past December here on the Brevity blog, and authored the flash essay “Julio at Large,” a beautiful mediation on freedom and “shitty coal mining towns,” for Brevity magazine in 2010.
He was endlessly curious, funny, generous, and enthusiastic about life and the world. His essay collection Fractals demonstrated all of that, as did his many essays, creative and scholarly, appearing in Salon, Utne Reader, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, The Normal School and everywhere else.
Two years back, with the help of his friend Christian Exoo, he one-upped me in the search for the origins of the term creative nonfiction, because he was tireless, and so so smart.
I’m giving his good friend Christian the last word here:
He was the model for the man I wanted to be. Bill was one of the best friends I’ve ever had. He was kind, he was generous, and he loved Emily Isaacson more than I’ve ever seen a husband love a wife. He was smart and funny and truly a beautiful human being. I’m deeply grateful that I got to be his friend for the last 18 years. My hope is that he is remembered fondly as a writer and friend.
Goodnight, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Gone too soon. Loved meeting him, loved his presentation at NFNOW in Arizona, love love love his book.
My heart to all.
what awful news. I was introduced to his work at Iota this summer, and loved it. so terribly sad.
Thanks for this, Dinty. William had all the qualities you wrote of, and then some. He was indeed smart, generous and kind. He contributed without pause to my thesis for VCFA, submitted beautiful work for Tiferet whenever I asked, gave big happy hug when we saw each other at conferences, and wrote the funniest, sweetest posts that brightened my feed.Essaying in the 21st Century is a brilliant site–his brain child–and I depend on it as a resource almost daily for new work, and resources.These last few months were so rough for he and Emily, yet his death has knocked me sideways.
Such a kind and generous writer and editor. I was introduced to his work through Bluestem. His “How We Got Our Dog” is a beautiful essay–among others. It’s at: http://bluestemmagazine.com/online/september-2012/how-we-got-our-dog/
Sending his loved ones comfort and peace.
Thank you for this. William was my beloved son-in-law. Our hearts are breaking but we are so glad he was here among us.
I’m so sad to hear this: I really liked WIlliam and his work. He was generous and smart and will truly be missed.
our work will also be remembered,we must consider the impacts others has made and learn from themmay the soul rest and he be remembered alwals
Thank you for posting this brief tribute. Bill is (was) an “old” grad school friend, and I’m reeling with the news.
Lovely. Of course I’m crying reading it. I just can’t believe he’s gone. I’m so thankful to have known him.
[…] W. Moore has written a fabulous account over at Brevity of William’s accomplishments, and there were many. William’s book Fractals blew […]
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