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The Grace at the Heart of the World

The Grace at the Heart of the World


By Risa Stephanie Bear

Illustrated by Sally Seymour
Hatchet Green Press
ISBN: 978-1908309020
February 23, 2017
100 pages

In this first collection of poetry by Risa Stephanie Bear to be published in the UK, the reader is introduced to a lifetime of experience conveyed by a poet who has lived as a subsistence farmer in the southern Willamette Valley, Oregon for many years. Bear’s poetry offers a candid insight into the minutiae of her world, her thoughts ranging from a search for a place to call home, to her intimate and deeply felt sensitivity to the passing of the seasons, and the treasuring of all that sustains life, both physically and emotionally.

A former carpenter, tree planter, forest firefighter, timber cruiser, grave digger, communard, landscaper, printer, editor, writer, and librarian, in Bear’s poetry lies a lifetime of wonder spent travelling, exploring and finally settling. From her home at Stony Run Farm, today Bear treasures her time spent on forest trails and kayaking in the Oregon wilderness of the great Northwest, but what she has to say is universal and relevant to all who love landscape and the pleasure of putting their hands in the soil. 

A Pushcart Prize nominee who has authored several other volumes of poetry, Bear’s poems have also appeared in a number of poetry journals; including Bellowing Ark, Sand River Journal, New Zoo Poetry Review, Lynx, Aerious, Disquieting Muses, Ariga: Visions, Writtenmind, Rockhurst Review, and the chapbook series Cedar Bark Poets. She is also the writer of several prose works, including the dystopian novel Starvation Ridge; her part fictionalised personal memoir titled Iron Buddhas; and Viewing Jasper Mountain, a journal that documents a single year at Stony Run Farm.  

This collection has been selected and edited by Ian McKay. Cover and frontispiece engraving by Sally Seymour.

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