Mead Lake, This
by B.J. Best
can we say about this beaut? We’ll start with this: Buy
it. No seriously. Before we launch into hyperbole, it would
do you well to simply give in to your instincts and comply with
that little voice in the back of your mind. The one that goes, Another
book from Centennial Press!? Why, I shall purchase this at once
and urge all I know to do the same! Honey, bring me thy billfold! (Oh and btw, you don’t even need your billfold anymore …
have you noticed? We’ve got PayPal.)
Centennial Press is convinced Mr. Best is not merely one of the
most important new voices of his generation, he is one of its most
necessary. Mead Lake, This reads like cartography for the
heart. These poems are at once an astronomical guide by which you
find your way through love’s twilit waterways … and
the ship upon which you sail. From first syllable to last, Best
turns northwestern Wisconsin’s Mead Lake into a metaphorical
mythology of love, loss, and the subtlest grace … charting
weather with language as his gilded barometry.
All hyperbole aside, gentle reader, if you own one book from Centennial
Press, let this be the one.
So cut loose your ropes and hoist your sail … let the trade
winds carry you toward the equator of your heart.
And forget not your beach towel … you’ll want to bask
in the warmth upon your arrival.
That’s right … you’ll bask.
SAMPLING OF POEMS
5.5"x 8.5" –
26 limited, signed and lettered
– SOLD OUT
FOR B.J. BEST
"B.J. Best makes “simple beautiful again” when
he writes of love and loss in the great tradition of love poets.
Written with exquisite detail and attention to metaphor, these
poems are electric and smart for their word play, heartbreak and
redemption. Best pulls readers under the surface of the lake,
of the dream of love and holds us there until we are released,
finally, gasping and amazed. These poems are at once, simple,
startling and lovely. A wonder-filled collection."
— Karla Huston, author of Catch and Release, Marsh
"Is it possible B. J. Best is the love child of Mary Oliver
and ee cummings? His poems are the exquisite blend of the best
of both them: compact and grammatically wild glimpses at nature,
but so much more abundant and alive than mere flora and fauna.
Like a gothic romance novel (think “English Patient,”
not “Harlequin”) each poem of Mead Lake, This is a scene unto itself, building on the next to create a breath-taking
arc of passion, love, loss, despair, redemption. This collection
is electric, one you will make time to read cover to cover, over
and over again."
— Cathryn Cofell, author of Sweet Curdle, Marsh
"B.J. Best performs the poetic imperative — to give
us new eyes — with a clarity that is rare and refreshing
in contemporary poetry. Best has a cinematographer’s sense
of composition and movement, and he leads us through a poem like
Orson Welles panning upwards from the gates of Xanadu to the celestial
dome. With equal portions of passion and self-control, Best writes
with the eye of Frost, the ear of Roethke, and the touch of Rilke."
— Phong Nguyen, Editor-in-Chief of Cream City Review