I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book of poetry, The Pear Tree: elegy for a farm (MoonPath Press, Jan. 1, 2024), available now.

To read more about the amazing MoonPath, click on the link. For a list of events celebrating the launch, scroll down:

“Packed with a century of images and sensory, sensual detail of Southwest Washington logging, farming, and family, this book transported me across time, place, and generations. More than a collection of poems, The Pear Tree expands these people and this place into inspirational lament, lifting family and home to epic levels of life and struggle, love and wonder.” -Paul Marshall, author of Stealing Foundation Stones 


Along with other poets, I will be celebrating the recent publication of Rose Alley Press’s new anthology, Purr & Yowl, on April 6 at Kirkland Booktree. I also plan to attend Rose Alley editor David Horowitz’s workshop on rhyme, 4:24 – 6 p.m. (reading follows).


On May 9, 6 p.m., I will be one of three featured readers at It’s About Time, at the Ballard branch of Seattle Public Library.

On May 14, 6 p.m., I am the featured reader at Chuckanut Sandstone Reader’s Theatre, Village Books, Fairhaven (Bellingham). So far as I know, this is my last featured reading in my extended launch of The Pear Tree.


Spring Quarter 2024 I am teaching a Zoom class, “Good Poetry for Hard Times,” for CRI, The Creative Retirement Institute:

Many of us can recall gorgeous, memorable poems that inspired us in childhood, poems by Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost or Geraldine Brooks, poems we return to and share with friends. Grittier examples come to mind, too, as inspiring poems aren’t always gorgeous, but sometimes convey a hard truth that hits us in the gut. In this class, we’ll look at a range of such poems and discuss the inspiration and craft that goes into them.

-from the catalog

If you took my poetry-writing class, Writing Your Memorable Poem, last year, it was the foundation for much of the content here. I’m looking forward to great discussions (and, yes, there will be suggestions for writers). The class meets from 1:00 – 3:00 on 4 Fridays, beginning May 24. Follow this link to see CRI’s website and find the listing of all their spring courses. A variety of topics, and very affordable!

Bethany Reid is a poet, writer, editor, and writing coach. She has an MFA in poetry and a PhD in American Literature from the University of Washington. For almost thirty years, she taught composition, American literature, and Creative Nonfiction at Everett Community College and elsewhere in the greater Seattle region.

Bethany’s first book, The Coyotes and My Mom: Poems, was published by Bellowing Ark Press in 1990. Her other poetry books are Be Careful (a limited-edition chapbook from Chuckanut Sandstone, 2005); Sparrow, which won the 2012 Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize, selected by Dorianne Laux; and Body My House, published by Seattle’s Goldfish Press in 2018; her chapbook of poetic riffs, “The Thing with Feathers” (inspired by poems of Emily Dickinson), was published in 2020 as part of Triple No. 10 by Ravenna Press. Her parenting memoir, originally a creative nonfiction piece, You Are Very Upset, was published as a Kindle Short by DLG Publishing Partners, also in 2020.

In addition to the Gell Prize, Bethany’s poetry has won numerous awards, including Calyx’s Lois Cranston Memorial Prize, The MacGuffin’s 22nd annual Poet Hunt Contest, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, and the Olympia Poetry Network’s Jeanne Lohman Prize.

Bethany has been blogging since 2009. Read more on this site, and at One Bad Poem.

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” –Octavia Butler (1947-2006)

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“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” –Annie Dillard, The Writing Life



“The whole book might be seen as … a parade of tenderness and grief, joy and longing, dreams stubbed out like cigarettes in ashtrays at a diner counter, hopes held like quarter tips in a waitress’s apron pocket on her long walk home….The sensory images are precise and gorgeous …, the whore’s dishabille … transformed into the bride’s wedding dress.”

–Kathleen Kirk, author of Spiritual Midwifery, and ABCs of Women’s Work

Body My House

“…powerful stuff—crafted, courageous, poignant, resonant. I know that humming desk, those dull thumbs of crayons, those brambles along the path to the creek, that hitch in the knee. The crumpled coffee cups, cellophane wrappings. I know the string of angers chained in the muddy side yard, that sense of something ‘off,’ of things brewing below the surface. And those awkward hungers, those longings—their reverberations, their echoes. This work speaks to me.”

–Terry Martin, author of The Light You Find

Triple No. 10: The Thing with Feathers

“We love the Triples, and this is another great one in the series. Comprising poetry by Jayne Marek and Bethany Reid plus artwork by George J. Farrah, there is substance, humor and heart throughout the pages.”

–Kathryn Rantala, editor, Ravenna Press


To see a portion of my Edmonds Bookshop reading with the amazing poet Holly J. Hughes (October, 2020):


I love working with individual poets and writers, and Zoom makes it possible to work with you no matter where you live. Whether you are writing poems, putting together a poetry book, or writing prose, my goal is to help you find and deepen your voice, and to support you as you become the writer who can conceptualize, write, and complete your project.

I charge a sliding fee of $40 to $80 per hour, depending on what you can afford. Please contact me at Bethany.alchemy@gmail.com if you want to talk. (Consultation is free.)