Nothing Got Broke by Larry F. Slonaker

Nothing Got Broke
Editions:Paperback: $ 18.00
ISBN: 979-8886274622
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 276

In Nothing Got Broke, Larry Slonaker does a remarkable thing: He puts you firmly on the Hi-Line of Montana, sends the ceaseless wind swirling around you, gives you a taste of the beer, and sets you up with a view down Main Street and into the hearts, hopes, and broken dreams of the people in that place. That he gets Montana comes shimmering off these pages.... Slonaker reveals it with appropriate measures of reverence and unflinching candor.

—Craig Lancaster, author of And It Will Be a Beautiful Life and 600 Hours of Edward

Doug Rossiter has a secret, and in the spirit of modern Western writers Kevin McCafferty and C. J. Box, Larry Slonaker roots us firmly in today’s Montana as that secret is slowly revealed. Along the way, Slonaker holds up a mirror for us, where we can ponder Rossiter’s ruminations on the truths of Manifest Destiny in the American West, and squirm because they cut so close to the bone.

—Doug Pope, author of The Way to Gaamaak Cove

Larry Slonaker knows the raw world he writes of, in this gritty narrative slashed with liberal dashes of noir. He demonstrates a sharp eye for details that count and a keen ear for dialogue inflected with regional accents.

—Ron McFarland, author of The Rockies in First Person and Appropriating Hemingway

About Cirque Press

Cirque Press

Cirque Press was established in 2017, to publish the work of writers from Alaska and the Northwest.

It developed quite naturally from Cirque Journal, established in 2008.

Sandra Kleven and Michael Burwell are founders, editors and publishers.

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Cirque Press Author — Larry F. Slonaker

Larry F. Slonaker
Larry F. Slonaker

Larry F. Slonaker was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana, and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He worked as a reporter and columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. He and his wife now live in California’s Central Coast, on a place just large enough to accommodate a few horses, a few dogs and several (fixed) feral cats.

Kettle Dance: A Big Sky Murder by Kerry Dean Feldman

Kettle Dance by Kerry Dean Feldman
Editions:Paperback: $ 15.00
ISBN: 979-8886274653
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 145

“I felt like I was swept downstream in a fastmoving river, bounced off rocks, swirled into eddies, and spit out on the bank to dry. Feldman’s storytelling is expertly crafted, visceral and raw though he skillfully manages to squeeze in charm and tenderness to boot. In other words, this book has it all. A meaty, passionate, sexy mystery that will twist your gut. Take a big bite and chew a while on Feldman’s whodunit. It’s really, really good.”

—Monica Devine, author of Water Mask

“Crisp dialogue drives the action at high-speed in this short novel that takes place in a small town, where a local boy who left to become an LA detective returns from an Internal Affairs Group investigation as a suspect in a gruesome murder. Add romance and lust. What more could you want?”

—Ron McFarland, author of The Rockies in First Person, Subtle Thieves, and Stranger in Town

 

About Cirque Press

Cirque Press

Cirque Press was established in 2017, to publish the work of writers from Alaska and the Northwest.

It developed quite naturally from Cirque Journal, established in 2008.

Sandra Kleven and Michael Burwell are founders, editors and publishers.

Published:
Publisher: Cirque Press
Editors:
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Cirque Press Author — Kerry Dean Feldman

Kerry Dean Feldman
Kerry Dean Feldman

Kerry Dean Feldman is a Montana-born writer-anthropologist, currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

He is co-founder of the Alaska Anthropological Association (1973 – 74). Kerry is the author of Drunk on Love: Twelve Stories to Savor Responsibly (Cirque Press, 2019), and Alice’s Trading Post: A Novel of the West (Five Star/Cengage, 2022). He won national competition awards for short stories during his Montana teens, but he put publishing fiction aside until he experienced and “knew enough” about life to offer stories in genres that helped him understand his own life better.

Kettle Dance is his homage to noir mystery novel writers and filmmakers. He lives in Anchorage with his artist-wife, Tami Phelps (Cirque Press Author of Miss Tami, Is Today Tomorrow? Kindergarten in Alaska — Stories for Grown-Ups)

Salt & Roses by Buffy McKay

Buffy McKay is a poet of power. In Salt & Roses, she looks hard at life across a range of free verse, villanelles, and haikus, and leaves us with poignant and glimmering lines that can stop you dead in your tracks. When she captures the ethereal essence of inner and outer landscapes, you can imagine her with the likes of Mary Oliver and Elizabeth Bishop, sipping tea and swapping lines about fish.

— Doug Pope, author of The Way to Gaamaak Cove

The gorgeous poems in Buffy McKay’s Salt & Roses traverse the wilds of Alaska and comb the watery landscapes of Rhode Island and Scotland. McKay’s connection to each place runs deep, and these roots she shares in a generous and loving way. In one poem, she illustrates how ancestry lives in a smoked fish and her mother’s word for it: dunghnak. This collection sensually explores the lands dear to McKay, family homelands which nourish her body as well as her soul. She captures life’s beauty with a wide-angle lens. Yes, there are salt and roses within these pages, but also cancer, death, loss, and regret. More than a book of poems, Salt & Roses is a book of prayers.

— Martha Amore, author of In the Quiet Season and Other Stories

Pomace stubbles the pint glass
Buffy in Scotland
One day of sun, three of rain
Buffy in a cabin in Skagway, Alaska
My hand, fingers spread
Holds my chest
The river is the voice of always
Adept as the moon of your fingernail
Describes the skin on my body
October
Buffy practicing her regret
To her indigenous mother
Her spine creaks
She fiddles with words
To make this beautiful book

— James P. Sweeney, author of A Thousand Prayers: Alaska Climbing Expedition: Marine Life Solidarity

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Cirque Press Author — Roberta "Buffy" McKay

Salt & Roses by Buffy McKay
Roberta "Buffy" McKay

Roberta “Buffy” McKay is of Scottish and Inupiat descent. She enjoys writing about memory, time and place, and has written poems since age 3. First published in the We Alaskans section of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anchorage Daily News in 1993, her work has appeared in various literary journals including Cirque. She has won scholarships to the Community of Writers, Olympic Valley, CA and Billy Collins’ master class at The Key West (FL) Literary Seminar and remains grateful for their value and life lessons.

“I’m inspired by my environment and geography and their effects on me. I’ve lived in some incredible places and had some amazing adventures so far in this life, and that seems to turn into poems.”

Currently, Buffy can be found beachcombing with a new dog, Benji, in New England and writing her autobiography, To Sir Sean Connery, With Love.

Growing Older: A Life in Alaska’s Rainforest by Margo Wasserman Waring

Book Cover:
Editions:Paperback: $ 15.00
ISBN: 979-8885897471
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 91

Margo Waring’s poetry is tuned to the pitch and roll of the seasons. Just as spring returns cyclically to Southeast Alaska’s beaches, forest paths, and mountain peaks, youth too ebbs and flows in the present tense, permeating old age. In this, these poems teach us to let memory carry us forward with the same agility that it carries us back. I will listen to my stream, writes Waring. Hear it dissolve in the sea.

— Corinna Cook, author of Leavetakings

Margo Waring writes beautifully of place, time, memory, and aging. Her years of attention to the changing seasons and climate of southeast Alaska uncover, like March’s melting snows, her awareness of life’s gifts and the losses that come to us all.

— Nancy Lord, former Alaska writer laureate and author of Fishcamp, Beluga Days, and pH: A Novel

Cirque Press Author — Margo Wasserman Waring

Margo Wasserman Waring
Margo Wasserman Waring

A decision to move to Alaska for a year or two changed the direction of Margo Wasserman Waring’s life from an academic career path to something richer and more varied. Margo grew up in working class Brooklyn with her parents and twin brother and began an academic life (New York University, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin) of study and teaching. Wanting to move to the West Coast, she and her then husband detoured to Alaska in 1969, anticipating an adventure for a year or so. She still lives in Juneau, Alaska where she worked as a legislative staffer, policy analyst and planner in state government in natural resources, environmental conservation and health services until her retirement. Post retirement gave her more time for public service and activism, serving on the local school board and focusing her activism on the League of Women Voters and climate emergency. She shares her life with her husband, Douglas Kemp Mertz, son, Edward Mertz, and several beloved dogs. Inspiration to write poetry came later in her life. Margo is forever grateful for the encouragement and support of her writers’ group. Margo’s poetry has been published in Cirque, Tidal Echoes, Alaska Women Speak, electronic venues, and locally at Bus Omnibus and Writers Weir.

Miss Tami, Is Today Tomorrow? Kindergarten in Alaska — Stories for Grown-Ups by Tami Phelps

Miss Tami, Is Today Tomorrow?
Editions:Paperback: $ 20.00
ISBN: 978-1639448517
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 93

This heartwarming book maps the humor and curiosity of kids as they learn the meaning of words and the logic that underpins their experiences. In these vignettes for grown-ups, Tami Phelps, a Montessori teacher for 20 years, describes encounters with her students as they process the world around them. In their innocence, young children are at once naïve and brilliantly perceptive. They often miss the mark, which is precisely what makes these stories so hilarious. And it’s not often students stay in touch with their kindergarten teachers, but the author’s former student illustrated the book to boot! These stories will make you smile, and remember how the best teachers can make a lasting mark on the rest of your life.

—Monica Devine, author of Water Mask

Our daughter was a Montessori kid through and through. Her journey began with Miss Tami and she loved it. When asked on the last day of her kindergarten year what she wished for, her answer: “another 100 days of school.” Montessori teachers are different and Ms. Tami is one of the best.

—Peter and Cindy Ljubicich, colleague and parents

"Dear Miss Tami,
Thank you for teaching me to think and read. I hope you never die.
Love, Alexander"

(4th grade writing assignment to a former teacher)

 

Circles by Cirque Press

Circles by Cirque PressAnnouncing Circles, a new imprint of Cirque Press designed for illustrated books. Look to these engaging books for image and light, fun and fantasy, mystery and music. Circles focuses on the singing of the spheres, the clock of the seasons, the mirth of the hyena, and the renewal of legend and myth.

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Cirque Press Author — Tami Phelps

Tami PhelpsTami Phelps has lived in Alaska fifty years, teaching public Montessori education to children for twenty of those years. She is a graduate of University of Alaska Anchorage (B.Ed.), previously attending Arizona State University, and University of Hawaii Hilo (where she learned a lot and went to class on occasion).  Her Montessori Teaching Certificates are from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (Boulder, CO; 3-6 year olds), and Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, WA; 6-9 year olds). She now creatively pursues her second career as a visual artist with a primary focus on cold wax and oil painting. Tami is invited regularly as Artist-In-Residence at the McKinley Chalet Resort, Denali National Park, Alaska, where her demonstrations are inspired by her Montessori teaching background. Her art is included in international juried exhibitions and is included in permanent collections of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Alaska, and the Santa Fe Museum of Encaustic Art, NM

Visit her website at this link.

 

About the Illustrator — Tammy Murray

Tammy Murray Tammy became interested in art at a young age, drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon. At age ten, Tammy sold her first piece, an oil pastel portrait inspired by the abstract style of Pablo Picasso. This achievement received an article in the Alaska Star, the Chugiak-Eagle River community newspaper. From Elementary School through Middle School, she would have work on display at the Anchorage Museum. During this time, she began to struggle with anxiety and depression. Unable to express herself verbally, Tammy discovered her love for illustration and story-telling; finding it easier to speak through art. Tammy manages her own business as an illustrator and art consignor while working on her ultimate goal of graphic novelist. Tammy hopes to create her own world within her art and writing in which others who are struggling with mental health issues can discover not just their voice, but their self.

 

About Kerry Dean Feldman

Kerry Dean FeldmanA writer and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Cirque Press published his collection of short stories, Drunk on Love: Twelve Stories to Savor Responsibly, (2019, cover art by Tami Phelps). Five Star/Gale-Cengage Press will publish his novel Alice’s Trading Post: A Novel of the West in January 2022. He is co-originator of the Alaska Anthropological Association (1974). His anthropological writings are published in US, Canadian, and U. K. books and journals.

Someday I'll Miss This Place Too by Dan Branch

Someday I'll Miss This Place Too
Editions:Paperback: $ 15.00
ISBN: 978-1737510451
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 207

In the tradition of Heather Lende and Seth Kantner, these dispatches from the Kuskokwin are insightful and funny and fully human. Dan Branch has written a heart-breaking book that is also filled with wit and wonder. A true joy to read.

—Brian Castner, author of Stampede

Dan Branch, “ignorant but lucky,” turned what began as a one-year lawyering commitment in Bethel, Alaska into a lifetime of learning, adventure, compassion, and reflection upon what makes a “good” life. His memoir in essays provides a fascinating personal and historical record of western Alaska in the 1970s and ‘80s. While much of what he experienced as lawyer and magistrate is heart-breaking, Branch balances his account with admiration for those he learned from, humility for his own missteps, and a big-hearted sense of humor.

—Nancy Lord, former Alaska writer laureate and author of Fishcamp, Beluga Days, and pH: A Novel

From the frozen sloughs and tundra of the Kuskokwim River country to the deep forests of Ketchikan, Branch takes us on a “stranger in a strange land” journey with the boundless empathy of a perpetual outsider wanting only to understand what it means to be an Alaskan.

—Richard Chiappone, author of The Hunger of Crows, Water of an Undetermined Depth, and Liar’s Code

The first time I met Dan Branch he wowed me with his storytelling over more beers than I could count. I literally couldn't get enough of his tales of rural Alaska. The last time I saw him, I spent eight hours on an Alaskan ferry begging for more, and Dan delivered every minute of the way. And such is the case with Someday I'll Miss this Place Too. The depth and breadth of Branch's experience, along with his masterful storytelling makes for a great ride, whether on a ferry, or on the page.

—Jonathan Evison, author of Small World, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, and All About Lulu

Someday I’ll Miss This Place Too is a stranger-in-a-strange-land memoir, the story of a newly minted California-educated lawyer who finds himself doing legal aid work in the remote Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The year commitment stretches to twelve. To say the author comes of age there is both a given and an understatement. His profound respect and compassion for the people he serves, mostly troubled Yup’ik Alaskans, haunts both him and the reader. Branch invokes in me a curious sense of fernweh, a feeling of longing for a place I have never been. This is as Alaskan as any book we have, both culturally significant and deeply moving.

—David Stevenson, author High Places, Sacrifices, Mysteries, and Forty Crows

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Cirque Press Author — Dan Branch

Dan BranchDan Branch lives in Juneau, Alaska. His essays and poems have been published in Kestrel, Cardiff Review,Gravel, Metonym, Tahoma Literary Review, Punctuate, Stoneboat, Swamp Ape, Windmill, andPortland Magazine. He received an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Out There in the Out There: Tales from the midst of very big somewheres by Jerry Dale McDonnell

Out There in the Out There
Editions:Paperback: $ 15.00
ISBN: 978-1737510468
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 231

Out There in the Out There takes us deep into the wilderness of the “real” American west at the end of the last century, and it’s one helluva rollicking ride! Jerry McDonnell knows this time, this country, these characters. You can smell the wood smoke, the horseshit, and the bears. His yarns and fish stories are infectious, but it’s his navigation of the human heart that will haunt you sweetly down the trail. This is a no-bullshit collection from an old bullshitter of the first order. Take a joy-ride into the out-there—let the tail go with the hide!

—Mark Gibbons, Montana Poet Laureate, 2021-2023, author of In The Weeds, Connemara Moonshine, blue horizon, Forgotten Dreams and other collections

McDonnell’s stories are forceful, tender, violent, funny, and thought-provoking. You wouldn’t want to be “out there” with anyone else for this author is a man who sees, smells, and feels the rhythm of the earth and just plain knows how to live and thrive in the wildest of places.

—Monica Devine, author of Water Mask and five children’s books including Iditarod: The Greatest Win Ever and Kayak Girl

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Cirque Author — Jerry Dale McDonnell

Jerry McDonnellA writer and actor, Jerry Dale McDonnell’s, prose spans from fiction and nonfiction to plays to journalism. His experiences as a retired Alaskan bush teacher in Native villages and hunting guide in Montana and Idaho and bear-viewing guide in Alaska were a source for the writings in this collection. His play, Engines of Time, was a finalist in the Tennessee Williams Literary Conference. His other plays have had readings at the Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska and other theater companies nationally. His play, The Lone Ranger Rides, was performed in Homer, Alaska at the Pier One Theater. In his fifty plus years as an actor, he has played roles in stage productions from California to Montana to Alaska and has had bit parts in several films. His prose and poetry have appeared in Catamaran, South Dakota Review, Over the Transom, MungBeing, Alaska Sampler 2015, Cirque, Dead Snakes, Explorations, Dan River Anthology, Northwood’s Journal, and Driftwood. As a freelance photo-journalist, he has appeared in Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Journal of Commerce, Peninsula Clarion, Calaveras Enterprise, and The Dispatch.

Fish the Dead Water Hard by Eric Heyne

Fish the Dead Water Hard
Editions:Paperback: $ 15.00
ISBN: 978-1685642471
Size: 9.00 x 6.00 in
Pages: 89

Eric Heyne’s moving debut collection, Fish the Dead Water Hard, beautifully engages the cycle of the seasons in Alaska while exploring the course of lives—aging and mortality. This book takes us from Alaska to Greece and Spain and points in between. Whether observing nature, society, or the domestic sphere, Heyne is always clear-eyed. By turns poignant and tender and sexy and humorous, this book charms with its perspective on mothers, fatherhood, daughters, life, and death...Do yourself a favor, get swept up in the shifting currents of Fish the Dead Water Hard and be moved.

—Sean Hill, author of Dangerous Goods and Blood Ties & Brown Liquor

Though centered in Alaska, Eric Heyne’s poems travel the world. Brilliantly observed and buttressed by a strong poetic craft, they take us to the spot and open our eyes. Whether set in the Brooks Range or at the Acropolis, a steady thoughtful voice holds the book together, while intimate poems of family life embody Heyne’s core emotions. This collection resonates with life.

—John Morgan, author of The Moving Out: Collected Early Poems, Archives of the Air, and River of Light: A Conversation with Kabir

In Fish the Dead Water Hard, Eric Heyne shares Alaska in summer, when hieroglyphic lichens “spell out their slow story in a dead language.” During brutal, long winters, ice fog fossilizes all trace of life. He mourns a young one gone too soon who leaves us “to mourn the impossible lives of the living.” He honors a beloved stepmother who “talked to us like we were worth listening to.” These poems are dispatches from above ground, where the poet asks “What else can’t I be?” He advises those of us not quite ready to go yet to “just assume you’re still in love.” Eric Heyne shows us, with delicacy and grace, the quality of light in a forest half eaten by leaf miners, then wonders about what forest his daughter will see. That succession-in-progress, like a five-armed sea star, is “balanced and incomplete, like poetry, like life.”

—Peggy Shumaker, author of Gnawed Bones, Just Breathe Normally, and Cairn

These poems appear for us like cairns in a dark wood and we read them with delight and curiosity. Each word of Eric Heyne’s poems is stacked with intention and meant to show us something about the complex and layered woods we are walking through. Heyne doesn’t shy from the darker moments—the fear of a biopsy, the loss of sexual desire, the warming of our world. But these poems are also markers, built to help us find our way. “And someone, awaiting migration, finds/this stack of stones on the horizon and is no longer alone.”

—Emily Wall, Professor of English at the University of Alaska, and author of Flame and Breaking Into Air

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Cirque Press Author — Eric Heyne

Eric HeyneEric Heyne is a Professor of English at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has published scholarship on American literature and critical theory in a number of journals, and is the editor of Desert, Garden, Margin, Range: Literature on the American Frontier and the University of Alaska Press edition of Jack London’s Burning Daylight.

November Reconsidered

November Reconsidered
Editions:Paperback: $ 15.00
ISBN: 979-8543168820
Size: 8.00 x 10.00 in
Pages: 100

November Reconsidered

There are adjustments now
To the November rain
To the November expectation
To the November settlement
Schedules and scoldings
Homework and housework
They adjust to me and I adjust to them.

Part rant, part meditation, part acerbic commentary, November Reconsidered is a gritty and darkly funny collection of November poems that transports us from site to site, back and forth through time. Marc Janssen’s satire takes a lyric yet steely look at a market’s cereal aisle, an eighth grade English class, a Toyota dealership, a California mall on Black Friday, a Happy Hour at Charlie Browns. Although he never flinches from the dark realities of life, Janssen also gives us moments of assuaging respite. On a solitary walk taken to escape the family hubbub of Thanksgiving Day, he notes this: The cold damp air made exhalation look full and white and alive, / White breath in a reverent day.

—Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita, author of One Small Sun and Understory

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Cirque Press Author — Marc Janssen

Marc Janssen
Marc Janssen

It would be easy to say that Marc Janssen lives in a house with a wife who likes him and a cat who loathes him. It is more complicated than that. Marc:

  • was born in Ventura, California and grew up in the State of Jefferson
  • has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from California Lutheran University
  • is a veteran of the Ventura poetry scene
  • has worked as a copywriter, a marketer, a salesman, an employee of the state, and was also hopelessly
    unemployed
  • has been published by journals in the US and around the world
  • Coordinates the Salem Poetry Project and the Salem Poetry Festival

His wife is fun, smart and beautiful. His kids are brilliant and good looking. The cat—the cat absolutely loathes him.

Callie Comes of Age, Poems by Dale Champlin

Callie Comes of Age
Editions:Paperback: $ 15.00
ISBN: 978-1685247065
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 175

Callie’s indomitable spirit corrals everything she does. Self-reliant, quirky, intelligent, sensual and untamed, she throws herself wholeheartedly into every new experience. For full effect, read Callie Comes of Age as you would a novel. The overall trajectory is best considered as a single narrative. In Callie’s search, each poem leads to the next discovery, her voice and personality irresistible as we follow her from childhood loss to adult resolution. Callie doesn’t question the grit required to get through her daily chores on the cattle ranch. An arid landscape dictates her hardscrabble existence. Ultimately, there’s a mystery for Callie to unravel.

—George Champlin

Callie Comes of Age is pretty darn masterful. The magic of Dale Champlin’s exuberant narrative, like Callie herself, is impossible to tie down. Beyond a braided story that will buckle you, the cascade of poems reveals a sensuous and hard, lonely and austere landscape. The sharp characters and sure-handed narrative pull us, while in a rhythm that alternates between shuffle, gallop, and gusty breeze, the poems with their details of snake belly, scar, and bone won’t let us go.

—John Morrison, author of Monkey Island

Ringing with an exquisite lyricism, Dale Champlin’s amazing Callie Comes of Age—a novel in the form of poetry—holds me in thrall. Set in the harsh ranch country of the American West, which shapes her life, Callie’s story evolves from an early childhood filled with tenderness and a strong sense of belonging into a grim tale of a sexually precocious and fiercely independent adolescence, in which glimmers of a dark secret begin to emerge. The deftly nuanced narrative kept me on the edge of my seat all the way to the end, throbbed by wonder.

—Ingrid Wendt, Oregon Book Award winner in poetry, author of Evensong

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Cirque Press Author — Dale Champlin

Dale Champlin

Dale Champlin, an Oregon poet with an MFA in fine art, has poems published in Willawaw, Visions International, San Pedro River Review, catheXis, The Opiate, Pif, Timberline Review and elsewhere. Her first collection The Barbie Diaries was published in 2019. Three collections, Leda, Isadora, and Andromina, A Stranger in America are forthcoming.

Ever since her daughter married a bull rider, Dale’s been writing cowboy poems. Memories of her early days hiking in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the bleachers at Pendleton Roundup, and summers camping at Lake Billie Chinook imbue her poetry with the scents of juniper and sage.