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     It Broke Anyway
      by April Michelle Bratten

April Michelle Bratten was born in Marrero, Louisiana. She received her Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota.  April was a finalist for the Best of the Net award in 2009 and was nominated again in 2010.  She was also nominated for the 2010 Pushcart Prize.  Her work has been widely published in both print and online, including the journals Istanbul Literary Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, San Pedro River Review, Southeast Review, Gutter Eloquence, Kill Poet, The Orange Room Review, and Dark Sky Magazine among others. She co-edits and writes book reviews for the online literary journal Up the Staircase Quarterly, which can be found at

It Broke Anyway
by April Michelle Bratten

"April Michelle Bratten blasts in with her potent, no-holds barred tongue and obliterates the marrow of the insulated inertia, uncorks the rabid subterfuge of day-to-day existence and lures us like a river into deep rapids. Bratten’s collection is fearless, captivating, drops us down into those parts of ourselves we are terrified and yet excited to penetrate."

Meg Tuite, author of Domestic Apparition and Disparate Pathos 

ISBN 978-0-9855577-6-8 
182 pages
5.5”x8.5” perfect bound, paper

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She Moves As I Move

When I saw her hair move,
I was reminded of how I can move,
we can move,
because she does move like
brown pumping splitting heart.

There is a walking bridge.
I have seen it move over the city.
We were there together once.
I saw her on it,
moving inside that great cage.
She moved her head,
she moved her mouth, she moved.

She asked if the walls were built,
if that cage was built,
to prevent the movements,
to stop the movers from moving,
jumping, steaming, toppling off the bridge.

I said, I guess so, then I just
watched her move, felt my own move,
then felt sad
that all of our movements are only temporary,
that we must one day stop moving.

Then we moved away, we moved away.
I saw her moving as she left,
a walking, moving, brown,
carousing, galloping, steering heart
that just moved as I was moving
and left anyway.


"April Michelle Bratten writes out demarcations and maps of inner journeys turned outward with a velocity of truth that sears the reader with a flame of love at the center of it all. It is an eternal fire that will free the spirit from any wreckage encountered along the route that her words will guide you on from beginning to end."

- A. Razor, editor/publisher, Punk Hostage Press

“April Michelle Bratten’s poetry explores, with a ferocious skill and immediacy, just about every layer of human experiences of our time. She internalizes the places she visits, physical or mental, transforming herself to enable a deeper empathetic connection with that place. She is thus, not a passive observer but moves beyond the state of being a witness to becoming a participant, engaging her readers too to share and partake in the same. Her work is addictive, insightful, exotically crafted, often with vignettes of humor and most of all, positively sensual." 

- June Nandy, author of The lines must die

"It Broke Anyway
, which pays homage to the trials and tribulations of women, reminds me of the Bob Dylan Song, “Just Like a Woman,” except that Bratten's characters never break just like little girls. Instead she creates multidimensional characters who will remind you of your sister, mother, grandmothers, aunts, girl friends and most notably yourself. Bratten's cunning parallels, chilling narratives, and haunting endings remind us what breaks is often more epochal than what remains intact."

- Rebecca Schumejda, author of Cadillac Men (New York Quarterly Books)

"From the wells of narrative emotion comes a different April Michelle Bratten from the one I was first introduced to years ago.  This April has decided to dive into the dark places we go when we need to see how far material light reaches.  This is a compilation of raw emotion wrapped around form, like a collection of her memories, but those of others too.

She talks to us and herself all at once in a primal way only decoded through the simple act of reading the pieces. A sexual anxiety turns the screws on each poem like rivets being stripped, the details the closest we get to clothing, but in the end, we enjoy the naked trip."

- Jason Neese, screenwriter, author, and co-editor of Kill Poet

"April Michelle Bratten's poetry does not pretend. It does not put on airs; it is exquisite. Her relationship to the word is careful and creative but she leaves room for the reader to interpret, to draw their own conclusions, to have a moment to themselves inside the thoughts of another. It is so rare to find this in a poet---willing to stand aside from any platform and simply bear witness."

- Michele McDannold, founding editor and publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature

"With this book, April Michelle Bratten has let her truest colors burn bright, both a vulnerable glimpse into her day to day emotional grind and a sensual coming of age, her poems take no prisoners and offer no apologies for the beautiful awkward moments that make us who we are.”

- John Dorsey, author of White Girl Problems: Poems & Stories