Bruce Pratt was born in Bronxville, New York, and grew up in Connecticut. Having graduated from Vermont Academy in 1969, he attended Franklin and Marshall College, where he majored in Religious Studies, receiving his B.A. in 1972. After a short stint in the furniture industry, he began a two-decade career as a folk and blues singer/songwriter, appearing with many of the finest performers in that genre and touring regularly with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. In the mid-Nineties, eager to spend more time with his wife and sons, Pratt began a new career as a teacher and coach at John Bapst Memorial, a small private high school in Bangor, Maine. His teams having won five consecutive state outdoor track titles, Pratt has five times been voted Maine State Girls’ Track Coach of the Year. In 2001 he received an M.A. in English from the University of Maine and in 2004 graduated from the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine, where he currently teaches fiction and advanced fiction writing. Pratt’s poetry and fiction have appeared in more than two dozen journals and literary magazines during the past few years and have garnered several awards, among them the 2007 André Dubus Short Fiction Award. On Bloomsday, 2007, he and his wife, Janet, celebrated their thirty-fourth wedding anniversary.
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Snagged in Bar Harbor traffic, I see
like a fat man, belt cinched tight,
Beyond the weeping wooden door,
a ten-year-old boy pumping the clutch and
to the restoration his father abandoned
bobbing and pitching on the torn seat,
aflame with his devotion to a vision
THE NAKED LADY OF WEST 11TH STREET
Before it fogged with the shower’s steam,
My first peek was a Sunday, grey, early November,
A naked man, dishcloth draped around his neck
He linked his arms around her waist,
I rubbed the mist from the glass.
She rose on tiptoe,
I lathered my hair, my body, rinsed.
From the stoop or the fire escape,
I spied her many times again
Like a child she holds her
out beyond where she is allowed
wind into her lungs, unaware
like that, like the desire to be rescued
I worried the rust off the traps
I anchored the steel in winter frost and
In July, when I’d snared only an unlucky crow,
When October’s blood fired the hills
We moved the next year
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