In the poetry of Brad Aaron Modlin, the most quotidian experiences – growing up, being carried by a rusty bicycle, and waiting for payday – become a point of entry to to larger questions about reverence, shared experience, and the creation of narrative. For Modlin, the stories we tell not only build community, and lend significance to the everyday, but they instill in us a sense of humility. More specifically, Modlin shows us that the creation of narrative is a shared endeavor, and that to speak is inevitably an act of theft. The sense of humility that is instilled in us is one of the great achievements of Modlin’s poetry. He reminds us, with subtlety and grace, of our smallness in the fabric of a larger cultural imagination.
Brad Aaron Modlin’s book of poems Everyone at This Party Has Two Names won the Cowles Prize and contains the viral poem “What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade.” His short collection of short stories Surviving in Drought won The Cupboard contest. He holds an MFA and a PhD in creative writing. He is a poetry professor and the Reynolds Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at University of Nebraska, Kearney.