Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank you!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

In the spirit of the day, I want express my gratitude to all of you who have helped make this past year at Bear Star an especially wonderful one.

First, big thanks to Rhonda Smith, my wizard of a neighbor, for recently changing the web site over to PayPal from CCNOW (which is going out of business at the end of the year). She says it was easy, but I know it took time away from other things she could have been doing. Rhonda also does every other kind of site update the Bear requires, and I'm very grateful. It's a wonderful thing to live so far from town but have help so close at hand.

I'd also like to thank the reviewers who have been kind enough to take a look at the books here and say some things, often very kind things, about them.

Thanks, too, to the awards committee for the Washington State Book Award for choosing Woodnote as the 2012 poetry winner. I couldn't be more pleased.

Thanks go out to several professors who assigned Bear Star books to their students this year and in years past. That really helps the ol' bottom line!

Thanks to the organizers of Butte College's Wordfire conference, which gave me a chance last spring to speak to students about publishing, and to the English Graduate Student Council at Chico State for inviting me to do the same.

Thanks, Deborah Woodard and Joanne Allred, for your assistance in reading finalists and determining the annual winner for The Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize. I so value your time and attention.

Thank you, Bear Stars, for writing books that have been such a pleasure to read and edit and design. You folks are of course the linchpins of this entire enterprise.

Gracias to my parents for their support and encouragement, and to my husband of almost 30 years, Antoine Baptiste, for putting up with a wife who spends nearly all her time reading.

Finally, thanks to those of you who have bought and read books by the poets here and to those writers among you who have submitted mss. to the contest. This place runs on love, but your dollars help pay the printing bills. Bear Star couldn't exist without you.

(Photo: Ivan, the resident sled dog here at Bear Star Press. Tony and I are very grateful to his former owners for letting us have him when they were no longer able to give him the time he needed.)

Friday, September 7, 2012

WOODNOTE Wins Washington State Book Award for Poetry

Congratulations to Christine Deavel! Her debut book of poems Woodnote has won the WSBA. We here at Bear Star could not be more proud and pleased.

Check her book page for some links to interviews with Christine as well as reviews of Woodnote. Here's a short excerpt from an interview that Rigoberto Gonzalez posted on the NBCC blog. In it, Christine talks about writing her book and about writing in general.
Much of Woodnote comes out of an Indiana landscape, but I think it may have taken my moving to the Pacific Northwest, with its gorgeous and frightening extremes of mountain and ocean, for me to see Indiana, my hometown, more clearly.
I don’t think I have concerns when I write – I just am. I bring my weather with me wherever I go. Sometimes it washes clean what’s around me, other times it’s all fog. Both make for poetry for me. What I want/need/seek is to be as present as possible in whatever landscape, whatever weather. I want to know where I was and that I was there, that I was in and of the world.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Bear at AWP--Table G34

Bear Star will be at AWP in Chicago for the next several days. Please come by to say hi if you're there, and let your Chicago area friends know that the bookfair is open to the public on Saturday, March 3. I'll be back at the desk Monday, March 5, ready to ship Rob Davidson's new book or anything else you might care to read. Meanwhile, if you must get your paws on one of our books, please order from Small Press Distribution (

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We have a winner!

Bearnice, our mascot here at Bear Star, is doing the happy dance once again, and so am I. After much deliberation, my two collaborators in judgment and I are very pleased to announce that the 2012 Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize goes to W. Vandoren Wheeler of Portland, Oregon, for his manuscript The Accidentalist. Van hails originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, which also makes me happy. Dorothy herself lives in Placitas, NM, and will be turning 90 next week, so it seems fitting that at least one person receiving her prize hails from the state she loves.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Please stay tuned ...

We're close to announcing a winner for this year's contest, but it may take us another week or two. I know the contest guidelines say we announce on or before the first of February, but trust me, people, we'll get to it soon. So many of the entries were outstanding, which always complicates things--in the best kind of way, of course.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for terrific poetry, and really, who wouldn't be except for the entire Republican party, I'd like to plug Pitch by Todd Boss (Norton 2012). Here's a link to his poem "Amidwives: Two Portraits," one of the best poems I happened across in the last year. It thrills and chills me in equal measure:
It also makes me really, really appreciate my own wonderful mother-in-law, Bernice Baptiste. Thanks for being one of the good ones, Bunnie!