Poetry. WAYMAKING BY MOONLIGHT is the definitive collection of fifty years of Bill Yake's observant, thoughtful, lyrical, and startling poems—poems of the natural world and the curious ways of humankind. It is an intimate journal of phenomena, discoveries gathered from the backcountry and from the back shelves of second-hand bookstores, alike. These poems share the essences of rivers, friends, ancient trees, word origins, fungi, mountains, family, field guides, decay, and conversations overheard on rainy on cabin porches and around campfires visited, on moonless nights, by impulsive and unfettered winds.
Long a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Bill Yake has made poems since the late 60s. There were years he worked lookouts, road construction, and cemeteries. He's fought forest fires and run a sub-three-hour marathon. During his 25-year career with Washington State's Department of Ecology as an environmental scientist and engineer, Bill diagnosed malfunctioning sewage treatment plants and tracked poisons in waters, fish, and sediments. He teamed with environmental trainees in Tunisia and authored the Washington State Dioxin Source Assessment. Since retiring, Bill has traveled with his wife, Jeannette, to Papua New Guinea and Mongolia, to Sicily and the illustrated caves of France. Throughout, he has studied natural history, read abundantly, and thought hard about evolution and the place of humans in nature. All the while Bill has been making poems and images. WAYMAKING BY MOONLIGHT (Empty Bowl, 2020) tracks those years and contains an estimable selection of Yake's creations. His previous collections of poetry include This Old Riddle: Cormorants and Rain and Unfurl, Kite, and Veer, from Radiolarian Press. Author City: OLYMPIA, WA USA