Keelyn Bradley, poet/playwright/philosopher/filmmaker, works as a community arts educator and fitness trainer in Cleveland, OH. As a PhD candidate in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought, his current Topics of Study, include: aesthetics of terrorism, disability, and disease; structural violence; the prison industrial complex and carceral state; theories of embodiment and body; poetics of relation; ecopoetics; black queer feminist ontoepistemology; and, technology (clouds, cryonics, sync, synth, distortion, intermedia, hci, bci, xr). Fields of Study, include: Postcolonial Theory, Critical Race Theory, Feminist Theory, Queer Theory; Black Studies; Disability Studies; Working-Class Studies; Media Studies. Areas of Interest, include: Social and Political Philosophy, Aesthetics, Africana Philosophy and Religion, Onto-Epistemology, Ethics, and Digital Humanities. He is a 2022 Stephen Bivens Artist-In-Residence Fellow at the Cleveland Print Room.
His poetry and prose have been included in the anthology In Defense of Mumia (1996) and most recently in Mighty Real: An Anthology of African American Same Gender Loving Writing (2011) .
His plays for the stage include: blue’s song (1999); secondhand smoke (2004); and blur (2008). He has also written books and lyrics for two musicals: J-G-I-Y-M [pronounced Jim or Gym] (2013); and Realness (2016).
He is the writer/director/producer of several short films that have been included in intermedia (mixed-media) theater productions of his stage plays, as well as the feature-length documentary Father, Son and Holy Ghost (1998), an assemblage of poetic meditations and interviews that present the personal, political, and spiritual lives of black men at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, class, and religion. He was also on the production team of Cheryl Dunye’s first feature-length film, The Watermelon Woman (1996).
In digital media, he has been a producer and host of the radio podcast RealTalkLive216. Most recently, he played the role of “York” in an internet radio production of Diane Glancy’s Stone Heart, as part of the Sacajawea Plays, Directed and Produced by Jen Shook. And he was a contributing filmmaker to Pirooz Kalayeh’s 100 Films. Currently, he is a contributor for Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog of the AAIHS, and developing a new podcast series.
He is writing a spec script for a television/web series and reworking and shooting an essay film documentary, Looking For Emmett Till: An American Boy Tour Project (approx. 87 mins), which originally started out as the American Boy Tour project (a social media documentary that intended to explore definitions of masculinity in the 21st century). He is also in the beginning pre-production, development phase for a documentary film about the black presence in Switzerland and the country’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade and European colonialism, entitled Sonderfall: The Black Presence In Switzerland. The film plans to feature the work of James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Vincent O. Carter (all of whom wrote about their time living in Switzerland).
His dissertation is currently entitled: “Suffering Neoliberalism: Searching for the Meaning of ‘the right to equal protection’ in an Era of HIV/AIDS and Terrorism.” Grounded in the writing, art, and performance of Black queer feminism, this study intends to research Frantz Fanon and Hannah Arendt’s theories of violence and embodiment and their dual relation to Karl Jaspers’ existentialism while addressing the social and historical developments between the aesthetic dimensions of disease, disability, race, and heteronormativity in ‘poetic relation’ to the American social contract and the universal concepts of freedom and citizenship.
His first collection of poems, hunger, is forthcoming.