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About the Author
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 a 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 J. Hughes, author of Hold Fast
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 an inspirational lament, lifting family and home to epic levels of life and struggle, love and wonder.
-Paul Marshall, author of Stealing Foundation Stones
The Pear Tree: elegy for a farm unequivocally establishes Bethany Reid as one of the foremost poets of the Pacific Northwest. The poems, vulnerable and full of tenderness, fairly glitter with the detail and deep past of a childhood home on Elk Creek in Lewis County, Washington State.
This book is a great gift.
-Priscilla Long, author of Crossing Over: Poems and Holy Magic