A Few Facts about: This Old Riddle: Cormorants and Rain



Publisher     Greg Darms                                          Author         Bill Yake

                        Radiolarian Press                                                          4032 Green Cove St. NW

                        92643 John Day River Road                                         Olympia Washington

                        Astoria, Oregon 97103                                                 98502-3520

                        (503) 338-5502                                                           (360) 866-0925

                        cinnabar@charter.net                                                   yake@thurston.com



…Riddle…” is Bill Yake’s first full-length book of poetry. Focusing on critters, water, and landscapes - both wild and human - it collects and sorts 30 years of poems that range in setting from northern Idaho to Papua New Guinea. It is preceded by three chapbooks: Confluence (Radiolarian Press), (Giving Critters) Short Shrift (Radiolarian Press), and The Faces of Birds (Scatter Creek Press).


Yake received Alligator Juniper’s national poetry prize in 2003, and has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes. His poems have appeared in a number of anthologies including March Hares – Best Poems from Fine Madness; Under a Silver Sky – An Anthology of Pacific Northwest Poetry; Once Upon Ice, and Other Frozen Poems; and Least Loved Beasts of the Really Wild West: A Tribute. His poems have also appeared in many environmental and literary magazines including Wilderness Magazine, Willow Springs, Wild Earth, Longhouse, The Bear Deluxe, Puerto del Sol, ISLE – Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, The Pedestal, Open Spaces Quarterly, The Seattle Review and Appalachia. He has given talks, and taught classes and workshops, on the interplay between poetry and wild nature. 


Bill lives along Green Creek Ravine just north of Olympia with his wife Jeannette Barreca. He worked as a scientist with Washington State’s environmental agency (the Washington State Department of Ecology) for 23 years - studying and monitoring toxic chemicals in water, fish, sediment and soil. Before this he fought forest fires, manned lookouts in Glacier National Park, and worked as an environmental consultant, researcher and laborer. He was born and raised in Spokane, Washington, and received degrees in Zoology, Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering from Washington State University in Pullman.


Yake recently retired to focus on writing, backcountry travel (Peru, Mexico, Australia, China, Japan, Alaska and New Guinea) and natural history. He is a long-time board member of the Olympia Poetry Network – an organization that sponsors an array of poetry events including readings, workshops, and arts events. This year he joined the board of the Washington Butterfly Association, and in this capacity has located 7 species of butterflies previously unrecorded in the southern Olympic Mountains of Grays Harbor County, Washington.  





This Old Riddle: Cormorants and Rain, Bill Yake. A collection of poems chronicling three decades of inquiry into the mysteries and phenomenal plain truths of land, language, and the lives of organisms and systems. 83 pp. Paper. $12. #1887853219. Radiolarian Press, 92643 John Day River Road, Astoria, OR 97103.