Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What's up with AAP's graphic designer?

I was going to let this go by, but my amusement prevents me. This year's National Poetry Month poster from the Academy of American Poets is striking in a very odd way: it looks like it could be a promo for the movie Carrie. A gigantic red hand reaches up from a grassy field, and while it is actually a photo of Walt Whitman's hand cast in brass its color is anything but metallic. Stephen King would be very pleased, methinks.


OK, fine, but the Academy's holiday postcard was just as odd. It featured an excerpt from "Winter Trees" by William Carlos Williams, including this line: "Thus having prepared their buds ..." The graphic consisted of four decorated trees that at a quick glance resembled another kind of bud. You know what I'm talking about. See for yourself.

But maybe it's just me. I do a lot of designing myself so I notice these things. In any case, I can't wait to see what AAP sends me next.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Late Night Library

I'm really happy with Late Night Library's recent podcast that featured Josh Booton's debut collection, The Union of Geometry & Ash, as well as an interview with him. LNL's Amanda McConnon and Kristin Maffei are superb analysts whose fast-paced back 'n' forth on the text was a smart delight. I happened to listen while taking a break from AWP in Seattle last week. As they parsed his wonderful poem "Finches" I lay on my rented bed on the tenth floor of the Westin and watched seagulls wheeling amid the skyscrapers. It made the whole day for me, especially considering that book sales this year were rather dismal. I foolishly thought I had chosen a table site that would give people a chance to chat without feeling hemmed in. It turned out to be in Timbuktu. If anyone reading this blog would like to purchase a book--any book--at the special bookfair rate of 50%, send me an email letting me know you saw the note here, and I'll get one off to you ASAP. bethannspencer [at] ye old gmail.com.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Once upon a time, he called it Relentless.com

Please don't TL;DR this one. If you care about the future of books, this is worth your time.
You're welcome.

Monday, December 2, 2013


We're full up here at Bear Star--with all the too much we're still feeding on after Thanksgiving, and with a pile of delectable manuscripts to finish reading over the next several weeks. Thank you to everyone who submitted! We'll let you know as soon as we have a winner. Meanwhile, we simply can't stop laughing at this.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Poetic License

Who doesn't need one of these? Eric Johnson at Iota Press in Sebastopol, California, recently extended the PL of Bear Star friend and (and occasional cover designer: The Solipsist & Living Again) Lyn Dillin, just in time for her to create many wonderful letterpress poems at his shop. Yes, there was a test, which I am unfortunately not at liberty to share. You may, however, check out Lyn's creations here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Books for Burners!

Heading to Burning Man this year? Worried you might run out of things to read? Then hie thee down to 5 and Desiderata on the playa. There you will find Library California, whose motto is You can check out books any time you like, but they must never be returned. Bear Star won't be there in the fur--Bearnice is hot enough already inside her sunburst--but we're shipping off a big box of poetry for your enjoyment. Visit often. The inventory changes every day. Thanks to Barbara Alderson for making this opportunity possible. She also took the photo below.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Worth a listen ...

Thanks to Late Night Library for running this excellent interview with Dennis Johnson of Melville House, one of my favorite small presses, in which he talks about why Amazon is bad for literary culture in general. He also discusses the recent DOJ case against Apple and why it was completely wrongheaded.