The Pear Tree: elegy for a farm

Winner of the 2023 Sally Albiso Prize
MoonPath Press
Perfect bound, 76 pages
ISBN 978-1-936657-80-3

“Bethany Reid’s The Pear Tree: elegy for a farm is more than a haunting elegy for a farm; it’s a powerful evocation of childhood and vanished way of life. In poems lush with detail, Reid renders the beauty and suffering of bygone days, not with nostalgia but with clear-eyed honesty, as each poem reveals its hidden facets. Under the watchful eye of a pear tree planted by a grandmother on homesteaded land, we witness the pleasure of day-to-day life rooted in the earth, the heart-wrenching loss of a brother, a father ‘who taught us to choose what matters and put a fence around it,’ a devout mother who can still play the piano when words have flown. ‘Who will gather what we leave behind?’ one poem asks. Moving freely back and forth in time, this well-steeped, finely-honed collection offers a complex, satisfying answer.

–Holly Hughes, author of Hold Fast

See reviews by Carmen Germain at Escape Into Life, and Debra Elisa at L. I. T.

And a review 3/19/24 by Barbara Lloyd McMichael at Our Coast Weekend.

Triple No. 10: The Thing with Feathers

Ravenna Press
Perfect bound, 90 pages
ISBN 978-1735113166

“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

“If Bethany Reid and Emily Dickinson were sisters, ‘The Thing with Feathers’ might have been plucked from their conversations. Reid riffs and argues, persuades and comments, expands and muses in a 20-poem collection that is intimate, lively, and bright. Fully engaged with Dickinson without being fawning or imitative, Reid’s poetic voice confronts with sisterly glee. Her poems know the swamp and the sideshow, the mirror and the menagerie. They love to play. They embrace surprise. They are clear-eyed, wry, and deliciously fresh.”

–J.I. Kleinberg, co-editor, 56 Days of August and Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington

Available from the following booksellers:

Ravenna Press

Village Books ($1 shipping)


By Bethany Reid

Big Pencil Press
ISBN 978-0-9819018-8-6
perfect bound, 61 pages

Winner of the Kenneth & Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize, 2012, selected by Dorianne Laux.

“What struck me first when I read Sparrow, straight through from beginning to end because I could not stop reading, was the quiet aliveness and sensuality of the poems. The subjects are simple, direct: rural childhood, its rusted pick-ups, brushfires, and dust. There are children who long to be horses, and horses who bend their necks like young lovers, the fires of early adulthood and a delicate sexuality, religion and its ‘Pentecostal wind.’ And then comes the waitress with her name tag, marriage, children. Almost cliché. But it is the sense of reverie that keeps us there, in that country where what is familiar becomes, under the hand of the poet, foreign and extraordinary.”

–Dorianne Laux, author of Facts about the Moon, Only as the Day Is Long, and Salt

“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


Sparrow is available from the following booksellers:

Edmonds Book Shop (for a signed copy)

Village Books (for a signed copy and $1 shipping)

Body My House

Goldfish Press
ISBN 978-0971259812
perfect bound, 65 pages


“In Body My House, Bethany Reid has a book that demands to be read in one sitting, worthy of slow, attentive rereading, a collection to keep by the bed. These poems are delivered of and paean to the body—dear, recalcitrant, freckled, rumbling interpreter of the sensory world and house of the spirit. Their voices are glorious and bitter, supple and womanly….These poems were lived. They’ve taken a lifetime to write.”

–Kathleen Flenniken, author of Plume, and Post-Romantic, Washington State Poet Laureate, 2012-2014

“…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

“In Bethany Reid’s stunning new collection, Body My House, Reid chooses lines from May Swenson as epigraphs to frame each of the four sections. While this ambitious decision could prove risky, in Reid’s hands it succeeds, for she skillfully extends Swenson’s powerful body my house metaphor, making it her own. In doing so, Reid pays homage to Swenson, reminding us it’s possible to write about aging and love with honesty, wit and grace….In addition to Reid’s evident poetic craft, what I also value about this collection is how generously the poet shares her creative process with the reader. ‘Legs Thin as Branches’ is one of the most moving ars poeticas I’ve read—and is now posted above my desk.”

–Holly J. Hughes, author of Sailing by Ravens, Passings, and Hold Fast

To purchase Body My House, see

Edmonds Book Shop (for a signed copy)

Village Books (for a signed copy and $1 shipping)


You Are Very Upset

DLG Publishing Partners
ASIN: B08P91W9W3
Kindle edition, 39 pages


“You Are Very Upset is entertaining, endearing, brilliant, and in places, very funny. It is about reading advice books on parenting while parenting, something like, as the author notes, reading a book to study how to swim. Its zany quality comes, probably, from the fact that the author, a poet and English professor, has raised three rambunctious girls and has lived to tell about it.”

–Priscilla Long, author of The Writer’s Portable Mentor and Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are WE? Where Are We Going?

Available at

The Coyotes and My Mom
by Bethany Reid

Bellowing Ark Press
ISBN 0-944920-03-9
$4.00 (out of print)

Climb into these poems and be whisked away to another time and place, one rife with difficulty but full of abiding love. With exquisite care and precision, the poet recreates a childhood on a farm in southwest Washington State, a rich cavalcade of memories. Here, the child tends an orphaned calf and endures the death of a beloved foal and the attack of coyotes on a pregnant cow. The poet explores the complex relationships in this small community especially those between mother and daughter and other relatives—siblings, aunts, great-uncle, father and a brother who died far too young. The imagery captivates. Her grandpa grows “smaller every year / like a red-tail hawk soaring higher and higher over the farm.” A man gathers “strength as a sky gathers storm.” A woman’s slim figure is “a blade/scratching the sky.” The poems weave together generations over time, an intense family life and deep beliefs. These are songs of strength and beauty.

–Francine E. Walls, author of Waiting for Someone to Find Me