Bridgette Bates' poems have appeared in the Boston Review, Fence, jubilat, VERSE, and elsewhere. A recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a "Discovery" Prize, she is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Originally from Nashville, she lives in Los Angeles where she is the writer-in-residence at the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and a frequent features contributor to the Kirkus Reviews.
In Bridgette Bates' What Is Not Missing Is Light, shards of history are sharpened against the imagined experience of various—crumbling, complex, disfigured, celebrated, striking—muses; some statues, some legend, some surfacing from memory. Part prose, part layering of the chiseled line, we are introduced to a gaze that includes all aspects of a relic's presence, and all aspects of the act of being present: "I will repair our damage," writes Bates, "by describing a heap of stones,/ the start of a wall." Bates' commitment to what (art, recollection, theft, and lie) survives is captured in a series of surprising and spirited vignettes.