Picture: William (Bill) John Bradd

 William John Bradd was born on May 1, 1935, in Toronto, Canada, to Jerry and Elinore Bradd. Jerry was a professional hockey player and Elinore was a Mohawk Indian who passed away when Bill was a toddler. Because his father was often away for hockey games. Bill lived with his grandparents and uncles and learned early to be independent. Living on the Precambrian Shield and in rural Northern Ontario shaped much of his early writing.

 By the age of 22 he found himself in Toronto working at the Goodyear Tire Company factory. As comfortable as he was in a working-class environment where he learned to love dancing and carousing, he also felt drawn to writing and began auditing classes at the University of Toronto. Two years later he moved to New York City and began a lifelong activity — organizing and giving poetry readings.

 In 1965 he moved to Big Sur where he joined with followers of Gurdjieff, continued writing poetry, and winning a Canada Council grant for his work. He supported himself as a bartender. By 1972 he had moved to the Mendocino Coast where he created a literary and interview program called “Collage” on a local radio station. It was through this that he met a young radio assistant, Judy Sperling, who became his life companion for the next 47 years.

 Bill continued to organize poetry readings and read in venues from Canada and New York, to San Francisco and throughout Northern California. His reading was extremely powerful, entertaining and impactful. He produced three iterations of North Coast “Poetry on the Radio” programs. His work with California Poets in the Schools inspired a generation of Northern California poets. Many poetry magazines published his work. Bill was an editor of the Mendocino Review and a co-founder and editor of the Ten Mile River Press which received a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

 Bill's excellence as a raconteur and storyteller is captured in three spoken word CDs. He published seven books of poetry including: Snuffling Sound, A Kingdom of Old Men, Dialogue of a Three-Cornered Hat and Continent of Ghosts. His memoir/novel Notebooks from the Emerald Triangle describes a slice of unique local history.

 Through all his work, his love of the spoken word, and his irreverent, non-judgmental, and creative experimentation (e.g., “Avenue of Madness”), Bill was an inspiration for and companion to countless poets, artists and musicians in Canada and the United States. He was an ace card player, a lifelong horse racing enthusiast and a lover of his own and others' dogs.

 He reveled in his life along the Ten Mile River, canoeing and watching the wildlife.

 He is survived by ex-wife, Victoria, daughter Michelle Ryan and the love of his life, Judy Sperling. His spirit survives in the rural Ontario farmland, in California coastal hills, valleys, bars and dance halls, in the Mendocino sunshine and fog and wherever the spoken word has importance in the human heart. Bill passed into the realm of the spirit on April 9, 2024. May he Rest in Peace, Love, and Beauty.