Facepalm is Beth’s third book and a slight departure from poetry. In this whimsical collection of stories, BW recounts some of the most awkward conversations she has experienced on the road. BW says, “These are some of the facepalm moments that made me laugh, or stand there in puzzled silence, and immediately go call my mom and say, ‘Omygawd, you won’t believe what just happened!’ These are all people who, bless their hearts, didn’t buy anything. And these are just the ones I remember!”
Click here to order a copy of BW’s book Facepalm from Portland’s independent book store Powell’s Books.
In Ladder to the Light, the follow-up to her debut poetry collection Kazoo Symphonies, BW explores deeper and more complex emotional territory. Inspired by an image from a Jane Hirshfield poem ‘Mule Heart’ in which grief and joy are carried in “two waiting baskets,” Wood seeks to find balance again and regain footing after heartbreaking loss. Ladder to the Light chronicles her journey from grief to gratitude to believing in love again—poetry as a ladder toward the light. Ladder to the Light was chosen as a finalist for the 2019 Oregon Book Awards – Stafford/Hall prize for poetry and is the winner of the 2019 Oregon Book Awards Readers’ Choice Award.
“Beth Wood is a courageous witness, careful perceptive noticer, graceful word swimmer, and honest chronicler of soul-wrenching nights and unfathomable bliss. These poems are about how things and people echo off of other things and people, and why it matters so deeply. You will remember and recognize your own moments in her moments, and will also be taken to places you’ve never been. These constellations of words are gifts born of careful, raw, vulnerable attention to beauty, but also born of living a real life, in which things happen that we don’t choose, that tear us open and dare us to survive.” –David Lamotte, Award-winning singer-songwriter, international speaker, author of Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness
“One of the ways I judge a book is by how busy it keeps my pen scribbling, drawing arrows, and writing things like “Holy @#$%!” in the margins.
Going off that scale, my reaction to Beth Wood’s “Ladder to the Light” is… “This is it! This is what all those gold-stickered books by acclaimed poets are trying to be and, bless their hearts, just cannot figure out how…”
“Ladder to the Light,” in two sections, gives us the B.C. and the A.D. of a non-god’s death, burial, and then rapturous resurrection through a mid-life letting go. The painful aspects of the B.C. that deal with a tough loss, subtly and skillfully maintain their sense of humor. And the cautiously joyous nature of the A.D.’s beginning of recovery never forgets or takes for granted what has been lost. Just masterful.
This second book of poems for Beth Wood shows not only a poet, but an artist, that is much wiser and farther down the road of soul than, maybe, even she realizes? (Which is a sweet spot that many never quite find…)”
~ Nathan Brown — author, singer-songwriter, photographer, and award-winning poet who served as the Poet Laureate of Oklahoma for 2013 and 2014.
“In the elegant architecture of these poems , we are given exquisite possibilities for language and life, ultimately gifting us with a sense that even in darkness there sings teh promise of hope. A moving and utterly perceptive collection!”~ Aimee Nezhukumatathil – award-winning poet and educator
Click here to order a copy of Ladder to the Light at Powell’s Books.
Kazoo Symphonies is BW’s first book of poetry, a long-held dream finally realized. Kazoo Symphonies, with chapters on nature, life, love, and growing up, is, simply put, great storytelling.
“I have long loved Beth Wood the lyricist and award-winning folk musician. She is a solid songwriter with a powerful voice. Now she brings her voice and the magic of her lyricism to poetry. No matter what form or genre she employs, Beth’s gift of storytelling shines through. Kazoo Symphonies is simply this: great storytelling. And it’s worth every page.” –Nathan Brown, Poet Laureate of Oklahoma 2013/14