In the Winter of the Orange Snow

In the Winter of the Orange Snow captures a era of freewheeling adventure in southwest Alaska, beginning in 1955, when Diane and Bob Carpenter embraced the wild with curiosity and courage, and the phrase “only in Bethel” was coined in response to events both mysterious and magical.


“Diane Carpenter captures the spirit, the oddities, the bizarreness of characters and happenings, as well the unique and beautiful environment and indigenous people of the Kuskokwim. She does so with humor, sensitivity, and clear recollections. It’s a tough land. One cannot help but greatly admire this woman. No tourists here in Bethel, Alaska, where primitive ways became modern times in the span of a lifetime.”

— Clif Bates, author of Sky Changes on the Kuskokwim

“Diane Carpenter’s book is a delightful tramp through the Alaska bush country in the 1950s and sixties through the eyes of a great storyteller. The tales are sobering, hilarious and very informative, each a window into the details of the storyteller’s life and times. For many Alaskans, the book will be nostalgic. For others, it will bridge the gap between those who live on the road system and the bush. For readers in the Lower 48 states, this book will be an astounding ride on boats, airplanes, and dog-sleds through the Alaska wilderness.”

— James H. Barker, author of Always Getting Ready/Upterrlainarluta: Yup’ik Eskimo Subsistence in Southwest Alaska

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Yosemite Dawning by Shauna Potocky

“Shauna Potocky’s book calls us to join her travels through public lands that await us, know us and are part of us—trails, crevices, rivers, animals and mountain peaks. The fauna and the flora in each poem are a discovery, a relationship, a new life and an enlightenment. You will breathe deeply as you trek through her poems and drawings. You will become part of the earth’s true life, you will want to leave behind the manufactured freeze-dried urban-scapes. You will be at peace. Every poem is a new height, an unexpected vista, proof of her deep knowledge and love for the environment and its wiggly lives and grand miracles. The poems and drawings, the trails and compassion all lead us to a magnificent dawn indeed. This is a most necessary collection and a sure prize-winner.”

—Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States, Emeritus

“Yosemite Dawning is an epic love poem for Yosemite National Park. These are not sentimental lines but rather a caretaker’s loving astonishment of Nature with one eye towards environmental despair and the other towards hope. The poet finds a legacy among the park’s jagged peaks: “Every route, they say, is a signature line.””

—Tawhida Tanya Evanson, author of Book of Wings

“Shauna Potocky’s new collection, Yosemite Dawning, brims with lyrical descriptions of one of the nation’s greatest treasures, its imagery blessing both those who have experienced Yosemite firsthand and those who may now do so by reading this exquisite book of poetry. At once an accomplished collection and a call to environmental awareness and appreciation for the natural world, Yosemite Dawning will enjoin readers in newfound appreciation for this particular treasure as well as all our natural wonders.”

— Marcia Meier, New Mexico-Arizona Book Award winner and author of Face, A Memoir

Shauna Potocky’s debut book of poetry takes us from the edge of the Central Valley, California with its wildlife refuges and agricultural fields, through foothills and into the realm of summits within the Sierra Nevada, including colorful and scent filled meanderings on the Eastside of this spectacular range. It is a journey of landscapes and time—cultural connections, histories, climbing and contemporary questions. The poet connects us to the unseen, to the tangible, to textures and tales, from the dusty past to today, and thoughtfully asks us how we will forge the future.

Book includes color drawings by Shauna Potocky

Cover Art “Seeing is Believing” by Penny Otwell

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Miss Bebe Comes to America

“Lynda Humphrey has given us a very sweet account of Miss Bebe’s immigration experience. Since Miss Bebe is bilingual, she tells her story in both Spanish and English. Cat lovers everywhere will love it, and it will become a favorite read-to-me-book for children of all ages in both languages. The charming illustrations make it a book everyone will want to have displayed on their coffee tables. Also makes a wonderful gift for the other cat lovers in your life. Do yourself a favor and pick up this wonderful book.”

— Jeanne Anne Craig PhD, School Psychologist


“A heartwarming true story of Bebe, a cat rescued in Mexico and her compelling journey to her new home in America. Charming illustrations that bring the story alive. A delightful “feel-good” read for any child.”

—Corinne Ludy, M.Ed., Elementary Librarian
“La tierna y emotiva historia real de Bebé, una gatita rescatada en México, y su fascinante viaje a su nuevo hogar en los Estados Unidos. Sus encantadoras ilustraciones le dan vida a la historia. Es una lectura muy placentera para cualquier niño.” —Corinne Ludy, M.Ed., Elementary Librarian

“This book brings joy and happiness to the reader as you go along with Miss Bebe who shares her story of coming to America.”

—Diane Gwynne, Parent & Elementary Educator
“Este libro brinda gozo y felicidad al leer la historia que comparte La Bebé acerca de su llegada a Estados Unidos.” —Diane Gwynne, Madre y Maestra de Primaria

“Miss Bebe is a delightful story from a new author. Miss Bebe, a lost Mexican cat, is found by an American family and is adopted and brought to a new life as a Mexican-American. Readers will enjoy her journey as told through her eyes and native language as well as her new tongue. The illustrations reflect her cultural heritage. A perfect bedtime read for young listeners. Could there be more adventures coming for Miss Bebe?”

—Bud Cudmore, Bibliotecario de Escuela Primaria retirado
“La Bebé es una encantadora historia de una autora nueva. La Bebé, una gatita mexicana perdida, es encontrada por una familia americana, adoptada y llevada a una vida nueva como méxico-americana. Los lectores disfrutarán su viaje, contado a través de sus ojos en su lengua materna así como su nuevo idioma. Las ilustraciones reflejan su herencia cultural. Es una lectura ideal para los pequeños antes de acostarse a dormir. ¿Vendrán más aventuras para La Bebé?” —Bud Cudmore, Bibliotecario de Escuela Primaria retirado

“I loved this sweet Bebe story told from the perspective of an abandoned kitten in Mexico who finds a new home. Told in both English and Spanish, children learn the things to do to keep an animal healthy and happy and what it takes to take an animal to the US. Kids will love Ms. Bebe.”

—Tobe Jensen, Ph.D. Educator and Organizational Development Consultant Doctor en Educación y Consultor en Desarrollo Organizacional
“Me encantó esta dulce historia de la Bebé, contada desde la perspectiva de una gatita abandonada en México que encuentra un nuevo hogar. Contada tanto en inglés como en español, los niños aprenden lo que hay que hacer para mantener a un animal sano y feliz, y lo que se requiere para llevar a un animal a los Estados Unidos. A los niños les encantará la Bebé.” —Tobe Jensen, Ph.D. Educator and Organizational Development Consultant Doctor en Educación y Consultor en Desarrollo Organizacional

“I have travelled extensively throughout Mexico and witnessed the hardships of stray animals. Miss Bebé takes you on a trip of compassion, empathy and love.”

—Mariá Guadalupe López Peterson, Rocky Reach Discovery Center Tour Guide
“Yo Hebiendo viajado extensamente por todo México y he presenciado las penurias de los animales callejeros, La Bebé te lleva en un viaje de compasión, empatía y amor.”—Mariá Guadalupe López Peterson, Rocky Reach Discovery Center Guia Turistico
Circles by Cirque Press
Announcing 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.
Full Color Interior and Illustrations
Miss Bebe Comes to America ~ La Bebé Llega a Estados Unidos is filled with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations by Illustrator Judi Nyerges with both English and Spanish translation by Patti Sosa Hands.
Images copyright Cirque Press and Lynda Humphrey 2022

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Between Promise and Sadness by Joanne Townsend

Former Alaska Poet Laureate, Joanne Townsend, had a naturalist’s eye and a poet’s ability to convey her emotions and love of nature. Her poems speak of pleasure as well as the sorrow of losing of her only son. When Joanne died, only a large unsorted pile of poems in hard copy was found. Her friends and colleagues in Las Cruces, New Mexico: Ellen Roberts Young, Christine Eber and Joseph Somoza, with assistance from Peter Goodman, F. Richard Thomas and Frank Varela composed this book. Joanne Townsend’s posthumous collection, Promise and Sadness, is a tribute to her life and legacy.

“When Joanne Townsend and I were introduced (by a poet, of course) over 45 years ago, we hit it off right away. After all, we had many things in common: a history with the Atlantic seaboard, raising sons, a reverence for history, flower gardening. But the most important thing we shared was a belief that poetry is a necessary component of civilization. Further, we weren’t kidding around: each of us was deeply committed to writing the best poetry she could. In particular, Joanne focused on helping the elderly struggling to express themselves.

Her departure has left a big gap in my universe.”

— Ann Chandonnet, author of Baby Abe: A Lullaby for Lincoln

“I didn’t know Joanne Townsend well during the decades when she lived in Alaska, and if you know me at all that will not come as a surprise. Now, after reading her Between Promise and Sadness I wish I had. She had a naturalists’ eye and a poet’s ability to convey what she saw and felt to the reader. She knew joy and more than her share of suffering, including the death of her only son, but in the end, hers is a joyful voice, a kind and understanding one. As much as I admire her “nature” poems from her time in Alaska and her final decades in New Mexico, her cactus and lupine poems, it’s her poems about growing up in an immigrant section of Boston that I will read again and again with envy and appreciation.”

— Tom Sexton, author of For the Sake of the Light; New and Selected Poems, Li Bai Rides a Celestial Dolphin Home, and Cummiskey Alley: New and Selected Lowell Poems

“One of Joanne Townsend’s lines, “from a life less clear,” could have served as title. Juxtaposing Alaska and New Mexico, and different eras from her life, she sets us somewhere with concrete and evocative details, then shares her wonderfully pensive later reflections on people, places, and experiences. I like her mix of savoring the moment but also holding it and letting it grow and change in memory; her joy and her candor.”

— Peter Goodman, Columnist for the Las Cruces Sun-News and the blog “Views from Soledad Canyon”.… Read More

Transplanted by Birgit Lennertz Sarrimanolis

“Transplanted is an honest, frank and unsentimental memoir about a life-threatening leukemia diagnosis and an against-all-odds recovery. Birgit Lennertz Sarrimanolis is a skilled writer. She packs the pages with the kind of medical and logistical details anyone dealing with cancer in Alaska will appreciate, and yet this is no “how to” manual. Her story is deeply personal—and that is why it moved my heart and gave me hope.”

— Heather Lende, Alaska State Writer Laureate and author of Of Bears And Ballots and Find The Good

“An exhilarating read, Transplanted is a braided story chronicling the author’s excruciating battle with cancer against the backdrop of Alaska’s far northern landscape, a place of wild contradictions and inclement weather. Engulfed in a wilderness of her own, made up of multiple hospitalizations and the weight of exhaustion and pain, the author takes refuge in the healing powers of the hills, trees, sky and trails she has so vividly come to love…The author’s eloquent language and crisp attentiveness to place, shine, both lyrically and poetically. As sure as permafrost resists the melt, she fights long and hard to regain her health, though her life will never be the same again. Quiet triumph can be found in the fog of loss, and this author artfully shows us how.”

— Monica Devine, Author of Water Mask

“One woman’s account – lyrical, moving, occasionally quite funny – of making her home in the Far North, only to find that the wilderness was inside her.”

— Jennifer Brice, author of Unlearning To Fly… Read More

Sky Changes on the Kuskokwim

In the course of a lifetime, so much has changed in rural Alaska. Time has eroded the past ways of living; leaving in its place, a complicated straddling of the old and new.

The author takes us through the life and hard times of Kim-boy. From family loss to memories gained, Kim-boy struggles to find his way and make sense of both time and place. This is a story that could be told in many parts of Rural Alaska.

Kim-boy’s life is a story of changes and, perhaps, tragedy. His life was a sand bar as the tide rises. Smooth at first, seemingly endless, only to narrow and disappear with the incoming tide of an everchanging world.

—Samuel Crow, born and raised in Bethel, Alaska, retired educator, currently with AVCP (Assoc. of Village Council Presidents)

This is a story of cultural change through the character of Kim-boy who lives along the Kuskokwim River in Alaska. He experiences the advent of outsiders who come from the Lower 48 and disrupt his hunter-gatherer life of living off the land. Kim-boy’s world changes as his culture transitions from a barter to a cash economy. But Kim-boy is resilient. He overcomes the challenges as he is forced to adapt to an academic classroom, deal with the negative effects of alcohol abuse, experience the harsh reality of death and disease and the tearing down of his supportive, extended family.

Each chapter begins with an epigraph to remind the reader that the land of the Yup’ik on the Kuskokwim Delta is part of a larger world. And, prior to each chapter, a short poem by the author challenges the readers’ thinking. It is a gentle nudge to ponder the events happening on the Kuskokwim and what’s to come in the next part of the narrative.

I could very well have known Kim-boy. I grew up in a town on the Kuskokwim at about the same time period. I can attest that Sky Changes brings to the reader a sliver of the life among the Yup’ik during this time.

—John Weise, PhD, retired Alaskan educator

About 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.… Read More


A scholar, memoirist, and biographer, Alan Weltzien, as On the Beach amply demonstrates, is also a major Montana poet. Just as Norman Maclean knew rivers and family, Weltzien knows mountains and shorelines (and rivers, too), knows steep pitches and snow, knows what it means to grow up and grow older, what it means to be a son, a husband, and a father; these are poems of work and books, history, friendship, and returning home. Deeply moving, and deeply felt, On the Beach stands with the finest poetry and nature writing ever produced in the Treasure State.

—Brady Harrison, author of The Term Between: Stories

I wish this poet was sitting at my kitchen table, wise-cracking and spinning tales. His eyes and his heart are wide open. His intellect, both electric and electrifying, strikes lightning poem by poem. He’s humorous, humble, humane. Alan Weltzien’s On the Beach, threads “decades of geographies” into a heartfelt collection of memories and conjectures, all offered to us by the generous professor who laughs at himself when “shat” upon mid-lecture by a bird in an outdoor classroom. At the height of his artistry, this poet winks and claims he’s “ever more certain of what I don’t know.”

—Lowell Jaeger, Montana Poet Laureate 2017-2019

About 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.

 … Read More

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