Poem inspired by Hibernation cover photo

Dennis Rhodes, author of two poetry books and a contributor to Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, was inspired by the cover photograph (“Justin”) by YogaBear Studio to pen the following verse:

 

Hibernation, front cover

Hibernation, front cover

The exquisite line of hair

between your chest and navel

simply begs for

my finger’s gentle touch.

It is so perfect

so flawless

it demands I think

of all of you that way…

 

but I dare not touch,

allowing my eyes to enjoy

the sensual pleasures

you give to me in abundance

just being the ordinary

God-given man you are.

 — Dennis Rhodes
Thanks for sharing your poetry, Dennis!

Egg, by Stephen Mead, from Hibernation

an excerpt from Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards

Egg

by Stephen Mead

Hibernation, front cover

Hibernation, front cover

Nog of nogs, the creamy yolks

In a globule

With straws, the pinprick holes

In shells, the insides, an elixir

For mural mediums, the suspensions,

The great oracles of paint…

 

Such is the ritual of what you do

On my flesh.

 

Here we drink, breathe fire tinctures,

The ageless grog of the primitive,

Viking-furred, glistening holiday lit.

 

Now

 

How warm:

Two toasts we are proposed to each other,

Sipping time, all time love makes, like us

Open & nude.

Jeff Mann’s essay collection, Edge — now on audiobook

New Audiobook available from Audible.com:

Jeff Mann’s Edge now available from BBB/Lethe audiobooks:

Bear Bones Books, the hairy arm of Lethe Press, is pleased to announce its newest audiobook:

Edge: Travels of an Appalachian Lether Bear

Edge audiobook cover

Edge audiobook cover

 Jeff Mann’s acclaimed essay collection is now available in audiobook format from Audible.

Audible Audio Edition

Edge: Travels of an Appalachian Leather Bear

by Jeff Mann

Jeff Mann

Jeff Mann

Narrated by Joe Smith

  • Listening Length: 8 hours, 24 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Bear Bones Books/Lethe Press
  • Audible.com Release Date: March 28, 2014
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JAJYWNI

Order the paperback edition on Amazon here.

The autobiographical essays in Edge offer insight into the passions of acclaimed author Jeff Mann. These memories, insightful as they are endearing, range from his boyhood obsession with the gothic allure of Dark Shadows to the doubt and pain of being a Southerner, and so at the edge of the gay community, and the appeal of leather bars and bear culture. Mann also visits gay meccas in these essays – the resorts of Key West, Provincetown, and Rehoboth Beach, along with several European destinations such as Germany, Ireland, Belgium, and Scotland, have important cameos. But he is never an idle traveler – he is challenged by his experiences, and his observations reveal the thoughts of many gay men. Along the way Mann ruminates on a variety of subjects, from lost lovers to wearing kilts, theophany, Sylvia Plath, adult videos, and bathhouses.

Coming soon from Bear Bones / Lethe audiobooks:

  • Cub, a novel of young hirsute romance
  • Salvation, the sequel to Purgatory

Now in Print: Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards

HIB coverlg
Now in print!

Hibernation, and Other Poems by Bear Bards

Edited by Ron J. Suresha

Buy it now on Amazon: http://snurl.com/28qgc5w

~
Bear Bones Books

April 15, 2014
ISBN: 978-15902-1-259-2
eISBN: 1-59021-265-7
$ 18.00
Categories: Poetry, GLBTQ Literature
Distributed by: Baker & Taylor, Ingram

~

Bear Bones Books proudly presents Hibernation, and Other Poems by Bear Bards, a smart, sexy, eclectic poetry collection by a veritable Who’s Who in Hirsute Gay and Bi Men’s Literature.

Predominantly in free verse, these wide-ranging poems address all aspects of contemporary (two-legged) bearish life: changing standards of masculinity, male romance and lust, maturing men’s body issues, and what it means to live and love within the worldwide bi and gay male bear community. The poems are sometimes introspective, sometimes erotic, sometimes amusing — but they’re all well-crafted glimpses of the bear experience.

This thoughtful, fun, and moving book features more than 100 poems by 40 esteemed authors, including David Bergman and Albert Skip Brushaber, whose homonymic, eponymous poems give this anthology its title, plus noted writers Alfred C. Corn, Jameson Currier,  Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, Jack Fritscher, Daniel M. Jaffe, Raymond Luczak, Jeff Mann, Ron Mohring, Felice Picano, Jay Starre, Jim Stewart, Dan Stone, and Emanuel Xavier and many fine poems from other fine contributors from around the U.S. and Canada.

Poetry lovers and bear-loving men alike will appreciate the diverse range of contemporary masculine voices in Hibernation, and other poems by bear bards.

Facebook page for Hibernation

Contributors to HIBERNATION, AND OTHER POEMS BY BEAR BARDS

David Bergman ~  Albert Skip Brushaber ~ Alfred C. Corn ~ Michael G. Cornelius ~ Wayne Courtois ~ Bob “Brutus” Cunningham ~ Jameson Currier ~ Lewis DeSimone ~ Gavin Geoffrey Dillard ~ Charles Flowers ~ Jack Fritscher ~ John Genest ~ Scott Hightower ~ Charlie Hopwood ~ Daniel M. Jaffe ~ David Juhren ~ Owen Keehnen ~ Daniel Lewiston ~ Raymond Luczak ~ Ed Madden ~ Jeff Mann ~ Stephen Mead ~ Ron Mohring ~ Miguel M. Morales ~ Jay Neal ~ Felice Picano ~ C.D. Reade ~ Dennis Rhodes ~ Rocco Russo ~ Gregg Shapiro ~ Jordan M. Shu ~ Jay Starre ~ Jim Stewart ~ Dan Stone ~ Shawn Syms ~ Chris Vaccaro ~ Jeff Walt ~ Scott Wiggerman ~ Randy Wyatt ~ Emanuel Xavier

Hibernation funding campaign

Funding campaign for Hibernation

Hibernation, front cover

Fundlypowered by

~

Dear Bear Bones Books readers:

Grrrreetings!

Do you support the bear arts? Do you feel there should be a bear poetry anthology?

The realities of publishing small-press poetry these days are truly challenging. To cover expenses to publish Hibernation and other poems by bear bards, a new poetry anthology written by and for gay and bi men of the worldwide bear community, we have initiated a brief fundraising campaign on Fundly.

As of this writing, we are one-third on the way to reach our goal of $1,000 to cover editorial, design, production, printing, distribution, and promotion costs for the publication of Hibernation.

The following pioneers have shown their generous support for the work, and we bear our gratitude gladly for their kindness. Check back for updates.

  • TJ Lewis
  • Sean Gold
  • Anonymous
  • Wayne Courtois-Seligman
  • Jay Neal
  • Robert Goodwin
  • Ed Madden
  • Jeff Mann

Readers are welcome to show their support for bear literature by contributing any amount. Here’s what your donations will go for:

Cost of basic, brief Facebook ad campaign  $30  Donate
1/3rd cost of upload to POD source.  $25  Donate
Cost of printing 250 promo postcards.  $20  Donate
Cost of shipping a contributor 1 copy of the book.  $10  Donate

When you donate, you’re helping to bring the bear poetry anthology closer to becoming reality. You’re showing your commitment to supporting gay writers and bear literature. Hibernation is more than an anthology of verse by gay and bisexual men who either identify as bears or with the bear subculture. It is part of the creative expression of a worldwide community of homomasculine men who write poetry to make art. Supporters receive a signed copy of the book and an XXXL-sized bearhug.

Please let your friends & family know that you’re supporting a great cause. Other great ways to offer support for Hibernation and other poems by bear bards:

  • Like the book page for Hibernation on Facebook: http://snurl.com/28lcjgt
  • Buy copies of the book for friends, family, and lovers on Amazon: http://snurl.com/28qgc5w
  • Refer folks to the BBB page for the book: http://bearbonesbooks.com/?p=1161
  • Review the book on Amazon upon its release, and ask family and friends to do the same.
  • Like, share, favorite, and retweet posts and tweets about the book.  #Hibernationpoetry @BearBonesBooks @RJSuresha

Thanks again so much on behalf of all the contributors in the book.

best wishes, with bearhugs,

Ron S.

Advance Praise for Hibernation, and other poems

HIB coverlg
Advance praise for

Hibernation, and Other Poems by Bear Bards

Edited by Ron J. Suresha

~
There is a line in Albert Skip Brushaber’s contribution to this anthology, a beautiful fragment that sings of “what men are meant to be,” but don’t be fooled. The bears of Hibernation are two-spirited creatures: confident and vulnerable, hungry and fulfilled, broad-shouldered beasts speckled with the most tender tufts of sensual and strong fatherhood. Perhaps the title is a bit misleading. There’s nothing about these poems to carry us to a peaceful slumber. Instead of lullabies, these poets roar.

 — Bryan Borland, Editor of Assaracus

~

Some of our best gay poets explore the erotic archetype of the bear. Here are poems that celebrate the fantasies and realities of loving big men, hairy men, bear-like men. There is much to savor between these covers.

— Franklin Abbott, Chair, Atlanta Queer Literary Festival and author of Pink Zinnia: Poems and Stories.

~

Hibernation, And Other Poems by Bear Bards
edited by Ron J. Suresha
Bear Bones Books
April 15, 2014
ISBN: 978-15902-1-259-2
eISBN: 1-59021-265-7
$ 18.00
Categories: Poetry, GLBTQ Literature
Distributed by: Baker & Taylor, Ingram
~
Facebook book page for Hibernation

Please “LIKE” us on Facebook.

~

Fundly page for Hibernation

Do you support the bear arts? Do you feel there should be a bear poetry anthology? Then please consider dropping a few bucks in the Hibernation and other poems fundraising campaign to help offset expenses for the editorial, production, publication, and marketing of the book. Thanks!

Hibernation benefactors

Hibernation is more than an anthology of verse by gay and bisexual men who either identify as bears or with the bear subculture. It is part of the creative expression of a worldwide community of homomasculine men who write poetry to make art.

The realities of publishing small-press poetry these days are challenging. To subsidize editorial, production, design, print, and promotional expenses for Hibernation, we began a public fundraising initiative on Fundly. Readers are welcome to show their support for bear literature by contributing any amount. Supporters receive a signed copy of the book and an XXXL-sized bearhug.

The following pioneers have shown their generous support for the work, and we bear our gratitude gladly for their kindness. Check back for updates.

  • Wayne Courtois-Seligman
  • Robert Goodwin
  • R. Jackson
  • Ed Madden
  • Jeff Mann
  • Jay Neal

Now In Print: CUB, by Jeff Mann, a novel of young hirsute love

Bear Bones Books is pleased to announce the imminent publication of its 19th title of growlingly great reads by and for men of the Bear community: CUB, by Jeff Mann

Cub is a heartening and engaging novel of young homomasculine romance set in the bucolic hills of rural West Virginia. Seventeen-year-olds from opposite sides of the tracks, Travis and Mike start working out together in their senior year of high school and discover their mutual attraction for another, only to be confronted by the limitations of their individual options in life. Cub is a moving and well-crafted story of young hirsute love, and is a must-read for Jeff Mann fans.

Cub, a novel by Jeff Mann, front cover

CUB

a novel by Jeff Mann

Order the book from Amazon now!

Not every gay teen yearns for fashion and popular culture. Some boys are pure country folk and like the feel of flannel and the smell of the farm. And they’re neither lithe nor muscle-bound but stocky boys, the ones who develop hairy chests, arms, and faces years earlier than their peers.

One such seventeen-year-old is Travis Ferrell, shy among most of the other kids at school, but proud of his West Virginia roots. He has not yet admitted his passion for handsome guys — and his idea of what handsome is and what handsome does is not much different from him. Soon he’ll learn that he’s not unique; gay culture has a name for young men like him.
Cubs.
Lambda Literary Award-winning author Jeff Mann has written a touching romance for the outsider in us all.
Even these days when young gay adults have a plethora of reading options about themselves, the main characters provided for them to identify with still seem, in many ways, proscribed. Their idols and ideals still seem rooted in the pop culture of the moment. That’s fine for some, but there must be young adults out there who find solace and inspiration in more classic forms of literature and being. After all, classics are called that for a reason. But now, Jeff Mann has written a book for those young gay men who are inspired by Greek poets and walks in the woods instead of Beyonce and skinny jeans, making Cub a fine, important read.Jerry L. Wheeler, Out in Print

~

Bear Bones Books / Lethe Press  •  February 14, 2014

Categories: Gay/Bi Men’s Fiction, Young Adult Romance

ISBN-10: 1-59021-339-4 • ISBN-13: 978-1-59021-339-1

226 pages, 6 x 9 inches  •  Paperback: $15.00

Distributed by: Baker & Taylor, Ingram

Also available from Amazon.com, BN.com, or ask for CUB at your local bookseller.

Order the book from Amazon now!

Bear Bones Books

bbb_color.rgb

Out in Print reviews Jeff Mann’s CUB

Out in Print reviews Jeff Mann’s CUB

by Jerry L. Wheeler

Even these days when young gay adults have a plethora of reading options about themselves, the main characters provided for them to identify with still seem, in many ways, proscribed. Their idols and ideals still seem rooted in the pop culture of the moment. That’s fine for some, but there must be young adults out there who find solace and inspiration in more classic forms of literature and being. After all, classics are called that for a reason. But now, Jeff Mann has written a book for those young gay men who are inspired by Greek poets and walks in the woods instead of Beyonce and skinny jeans, making Cub a fine, important read.

Preorder CUB from Amazon or ask for it at your local bookstore.

Cub, a novel by Jeff Mann, front cover

Cub, a novel by Jeff Mann, front cover

Seventeen-year-old Travis Ferrell is a strapping, full-bearded, hairy-chested, long-haired young man left behind by a coterie of lesbian high school friends who have gone on to college while he finishes high school. A shy boy, interested in his parents’ farm, classic poetry, and a love of language, he finds a kindred gay spirit in scruffy, scrappy, hirsute auto mechanic Mike Woodson. The same age as Travis, he definitely doesn’t run in the same circle. Brought together by a band of bullies, they fall in love. Will the disparities between them overwhelm what they feel for each other? Time will tell, even if I won’t.

As with some (not all) YA authors, Mann succeeds in finding the boy he was  and putting him in both the boys he creates. Although they come from different sides of the tracks, they are both willing to reach out and learn from each other, showing an astonishingly adult viewpoint you find only with other gay youngsters. It’s said that the only difference between gay men and straight men is who they find attractive, but I call bullshit on that. Because of who we are, because of what we feel, and mostly because of how our peers force us to consider our relationship to society as a whole at a very early age, I believe we possess a capability for introspection and a self-awareness our straight counterparts can’t yet access.

Does that mean Travis and Mike indulge in deep philosophical discussions? Well…er…yes, occasionally. Mostly they get up to what all horny seventeen-year-olds get up to–sexual exploration. And Travis begins to deal with his leanings toward bondage and fetish play. This is where Mann truly invests himself in his character. In his travel writing and non-fiction, Mann has fearlessly exposed his most brutish tendernesses, and he shows the same kind of bravery in biting off those chunks of himself to form these young men. And it wouldn’t be a Jeff Mann book without some fine vittles, so the boys eat Southern cookin’ in an orgiastic, Paula Deen-ish carb frenzy.

The boys fight bullies, friends, parents, and even themselves. But amidst the coconut cream pie and gravy-soaked biscuit orgies, between the roping and hiding, swirling around the discussions of who and what Travis and Mike have the potential to become, lies the importance of Cub. It’s a book for those boys out there who have discovered that they are different from many of their friends, but who also feel the division within the subculture they thought they could identify with. Their aloneness does not cease once they’ve figured out their sexual proclivities, but knowing who they are brings even more compartmentalization. Cub lets them feel there’s room at the table for them. And I can think of no one better to write this story than Jeff Mann, whose table is as broad and wide as his heart.

If this doesn’t become a classic, there’s no justice.

Big bearhugs to Jerry Wheeler at Out in Print
Jerry L. Wheeler

Jerry L. Wheeler

Buy CUB from Amazon

Soon in print: Hibernation, and other poems

Soon in print — just in time for National Poetry Month!

Hibernation

and Other Poems by Bear Bards

Edited by Ron J. Suresha

Hibernation, front cover [not final]

Hibernation, front cover [not final]

Bear Bones Books proudly presents Hibernation, and Other Poems by Bear Bards, a smart, sexy, eclectic poetry collection by a veritable Who’s Who in Hirsute Gay and Bi Men’s Literature.

Predominantly in free verse, these wide-ranging poems address all aspects of contemporary (two-legged) bearish life: changing standards of masculinity, male romance and lust, maturing men’s body issues, and what it means to live and love within the worldwide bi and gay male bear community. The poems are sometimes introspective, sometimes erotic, sometimes amusing — but they’re all well-crafted glimpses of the bear experience.

This thoughtful, fun, and moving book features more than 100 poems by 40 esteemed authors, including David Bergman and Albert Skip Brushaber, whose homonymic, eponymous poems give this anthology its title, plus noted writers Alfred C. Corn, Jameson Currier,  Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, Jack Fritscher, Daniel M. Jaffe, Raymond Luczak, Jeff Mann, Ron Mohring, Felice Picano, Jay Starre, Jim Stewart, Dan Stone, and Emanuel Xavier and many fine poems from other fine contributors from around the U.S. and Canada.

Poetry lovers and bear-loving men alike will appreciate the diverse range of contemporary masculine voices in Hibernation, and other poems by bear bards.

Facebook book page for Hibernation

Contributors to HIBERNATION, AND OTHER POEMS

David Bergman ~  Albert Skip Brushaber ~ Alfred C. Corn ~ Michael G. Cornelius ~ Wayne Courtois ~ Bob “Brutus” Cunningham ~ Jameson Currier ~ Lewis DeSimone ~ Gavin Geoffrey Dillard ~ Charles Flowers ~ Jack Fritscher ~ John Genest ~ Scott Hightower ~ Charlie Hopwood ~ Daniel M. Jaffe ~ David Juhren ~ Owen Keehnen ~ Daniel Lewiston ~ Raymond Luczak ~ Ed Madden ~ Jeff Mann ~ Stephen Mead ~ Ron Mohring ~ Miguel M. Morales ~ Jay Neal ~ Felice Picano ~ C.D. Reade ~ Dennis Rhodes ~ Rocco Russo ~ Gregg Shapiro ~ Jordan M. Shu ~ Jay Starre ~ Jim Stewart ~ Dan Stone ~ Shawn Syms ~ Chris Vaccaro ~ Jeff Walt ~ Scott Wiggerman ~ Randy Wyatt ~ Emanuel Xavier

~

About the editor

Author or editor of more than a dozen books, Hibernation editor Ron J. Suresha is a three-time Lambda Literary Award Finalist for his anthologies on bisexual men, winner of a Rainbow Book Award for his nonfiction book, Fur: The Love of Hair, and recipient of both a Storytelling World Honor and the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award for his collection of Turkish folk tales, The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin. In high school and college, Suresha won several local awards for his poetry; later he was director of an Ann Arbor, Mich., poetry reading series and organized a complete, continuous public reading of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Suresha, who is co-founder and acquisitions editor of the Bear Bones Books imprint of Lethe Press, lives with his husband in New Milford, Connecticut.

Hibernation, And Other Poems by Bear Bards
edited by Ron J. Suresha
Bear Bones Books
April 15, 2014
ISBN: 978-15902-1-259-2
eISBN: 1-59021-265-7
Categories: Poetry, GLBTQ Literature
Distributed by: Baker & Taylor, Ingram
Facebook book page for Hibernation

Please “LIKE” us on Facebook.

Fundly page for Hibernation

Do you support the bear arts? Do you feel there should be a bear poetry anthology? Then please consider dropping a few bucks in the Hibernation and other poems fundraising campaign to help offset expenses for the editorial, production, publication, and marketing of the book. Thanks!

Bear Bones bestsellers are available as audiobooks

Bear Bones bestsellers are available as audiobooks!

Get yourself some sexy fur in your ears! Your favorite titles from the Bear Bones Books imprint of Lethe Press are now available in audiobook format. Click the title links below to go to Audible / Amazon to listen to audio samples and order. And watch this space — there’s lots more great bear-themed audiobooks to come!

 

Purgatory Audiobook cover

Purgatory Audiobook cover

Purgatory, a novel of desire and reprisal, by Jeff Mann

Narrated by Mikael Naramore

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 12 hours and 1 minute
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Bear Bones Books / Lethe Press
  • Audible.com Release Date: August 7, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EDMMRYS

 

BEAR LIKE ME audiobook cover

BEAR LIKE ME audiobook cover

Bear Like Me, a novel by Jonathan Cohen

Narrated by Paul Kowalczyk

  • Listening Length: 6 hours
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Bear Bones Books / Lethe Press
  • Audible.com Release Date: November 25, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EDMMRYS

 

A History of Barbed Wire, by Jeff Mann, audiobook cover

A History of Barbed Wire, by Jeff Mann, audiobook cover

A History of Barbed Wire, by Jeff Mann

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award

Narrated by Sherman Koltz

  • Listening Length: 7 hours and 22 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Bear Bones Books / Lethe Press
  • Audible.com Release Date: October 8, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FN0HLO0

 

Fog, by Jeff Mann, audiobook cover

Fog, by Jeff Mann, audiobook cover

Fog, a novel of desire and reprisal, by Jeff Mann

Narrated by Jason Culver

  • Listening Length: 7 hours
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Bear Bones Books/Lethe Press
  • Audible.com Release Date: December 5, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HEFDV32

 

Forthcoming in audiobook:

Edge: Travels of an Appalachian Leather Bear, by Jeff Mann

Cub, a novel, by Jeff Mann

Binding the God: Ursine Essays from the Mountain South, by Jeff Mann

Desire & Devour: Stories of Blood & Sweat, by Jeff Mann