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OK, you’re thinking, what do these pictures have to do with poetry, chapbooks or design? You’re right, nothing, but there’s plenty of that on the other pages. And then, there’s just something about water. Water is never wrong.


What We Do

Bent Paddle Press endeavors to not only publish great poetry, but to design beautiful books. You can check out Bent Paddle's offerings on the chapbooks page, and read more about us on the About page. Scroll down the page for readings and events related to Bent Paddle books. The navigation bar is over to your left (no, your other left) or above if you’re using one of those phone thingies.

Bent Paddle Editing & Design: Besides poetry chapbooks, we also offer services in editing, critique, layout and design of other books (not just poetry), articles, brochures, flyers and whatnot (a highly technical catchall term I learned from my car mechanic). Read more on the Editing and Design page.


Bent Paddle Press News

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Canoeing a River with No Name, by Ronnie Hess, won first place in the 2018 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Chapbook Contest! This is the 2nd (of only 5 published) Bent Paddle Press books to win the chapbook contest. The other was Dove Tail, by Sharon Auberle and Jeanie Tomasko in 2017. Read more about these books on the chapbooks page.


Cover designed and letterpress printed by Wendy Vardaman (wendyvardaman.com).

Available now:

A new chapbook of poetry from B.J. Best, Everything about Breathing.

In Everything about Breathing author B.J. Best writes about simple things: snow boots, a rain gauge, an anemometer, clouds, lawnmowers. There is sadness and humor (sometimes together) and more good lines than most poets write in a good long lifetime. A couple examples to wit:

From “how clouds are formed”

...the mice were skittering above the ceiling
again, a little jazz percussion,
just enough to jangle the metronome

of your sleep

And from “snow boots”

they wait by the back door like a pair of gray cats,
ready to pounce on the snowswirls

mousing across the yard. i pour my feet
into those soft cisterns, and soon they’re lifeboats

floating across the troubled ocean
of a field, licking the land, kicking corn stubble,

This is not stuck-on-to-make-the-poem-sound-interesting language. This is poetic artistry at its best.

Read some sample poems here.

Go to the chapbooks page to see our other books.


Bent Paddle Book Readings and Events


Find Jeanie and Steve Tomasko’s homepage here.