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Waymaking by Moonlight: New and Selected Poems


"More than any poet I know, Bill Yake combines deep ecological insight and concern for the earth with unbridled lyric celebration...,  ”

            Tim McNulty. Poet. Author. Naturalist.

"As I reflect on the complexity and insight of his vision, I’m left wondering why I’ve never heard of this wonderful poet before now. Put simply, his work is stunning...His way of seeing the world — where instinct and careful observation unite — is one to celebrate."

            Ron Smith. Author. Fulbright Chair in Creative Writing at Arizona

            State University. Founder and publisher of Oolichan Books.

"...Yake honors and extends the ecological insights of Robert Bring-hurst, the lyrical biophilia of Pattiann Rogers, and the gritty Zen of Gary Snyder."

             Derek Sheffield. Poetry Editor of, Author of Not for                 Luck, winner of  the Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize

"I have long been awaiting this volume from my favorite northwest poet."

             Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, pioneering forest canopy researcher and                   Professor of Biology

This Old Riddle: Cormorants and Rain

"Whether traveling in the territory of human love and wonder, or through the "millimeter ripples" of a banana slug, Bill Yake will lead you deeper than you've gone before, 'detecting as you go . . . every muted forest pulse.'" 

                              Robert Michael Pyle. Lepidopterist. Essayist. Author. 


"...There is not a false note or poem in [this book]. Every page glows with rich observation and understanding, and the deep music of the forest, the water, and the rocks ... More than a brilliant collection; it is the work of a life well-lived, constantly in tune with the flow and mystery of reality.  I will be returning to this book frequently, I know — my old bones tell me so, because it refreshes my vision ...”                                                     Howard McCord. Poet. Professor of Creative Writing.

"... I don't know when I've had a book that gave me more pleasure ... each revisit turning up a new treasure, unfolding a new layer.”

                              Tim McNulty. Poet. Author. Naturalist.

Unfurl, Kite, and Veer

“Meditation and laughter, learning offered up by a generous spirit, science made to sing — these poems feel like a true gift inviting us to live and love between the stars and the mites.”

                        Derek Sheffield. Poet. Professor of English.


“This book astonishes... [its] pages dazzle with their unforced rhythms and musicality. Yake's work takes up and carries forward the lineage of Lew Welch and Robert Sund and Gary Snyder... "                               David Abram. Philosopher. Cultural Ecologist. Author.


“... driving across central Washington, walking a trail in the coastal forests, reading Fenollosa, or listening to a tale in the New Guinea Highlands, [Yake] is tuned to the situation, absorbing all the fine detail, and linking coordinates in his memory. He lets the language mesh and move in his mind, and when he shows the words to you, you are there too, and seeing, hearing, knowing."

                       Howard McCord. Poet. Professor of Creative Writing.


From the Andrews Experimental Forest: With a Poem and New Essay 

FOREST UNDER STORY is comprised of work generated by the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program at the Andrew's Experimental Forest in the Oregon Cascades. The editors and creators of the program and book are Charles Goodrich, Fred Swanson, and Nathaniel Brodie. 


It's a great honor to have work included alongside that of Alison Hawthorne Deming, Jane Hirshfield, Linda Hogan, Freeman House, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Kathleen Dean Moore, Robert Michael Pyle, Pattiann Rogers, and Scott Russell Sanders.


Nine bows.

Front cover.jpg

Brambles & Thorns -- Ecopolitical Poems

“… vivid, appropriately bitter, and strong…the varied voices, from quizzical to ironic to outraged, are all effective. " 

                      Charles Goodrich. Poet and co-founder of the Blue 

                      River Gathering -- Andrews Experimental Forest


“… a powerful gathering of poems… hard-hitting… brave."                                    Tim McNulty. Olympic Peninsula poet, author and

                      environmental activist

 "… mordantly honest and unflinching ...every poem is considerable"

                      Robert Michael Pyle. Lepidopterist, author, poet,

                      and  environmental activist                   

“ …brilliant…  When you entitle something “Ecopolitical Poems”, it is a large promise and your book delivers. Olive Trees and Karma is the rare political poem/rant, that delivers … as political statement, as pure poetry and as a work of the imagination. “

                       Paul Nelson. Poet, founder of Seattle Poetics Lab

                       and the Cascadia Poetry Festival. 

The Islands at the Edge of the World

“A wonderful combination of travel journal, personal reflection, poetry and prayer… A very insightful evocation of a rare and marvelous place.”

                        Tim McNulty. Poet. Author. Naturalist.


“The work at once familiar (in the experience) and strange and new (in the telling) — the click and snap of the language. Wonderful rhythms.”

                        David Abram. Philosopher. Cultural Ecologist. Author.


…fascinating and riveting---every sentence. I like its spare quality — the proper bones, no more.”  

                       Howard McCord. Poet. Professor of Creative Writing.

The Fenceless Steppe: Travels in Mongolia


One of the least populated lands on earth, free  Mongolia lies between China and eastern Russia. It is landlocked, high, and virtually fenceless: a land of steppes, Gobi Desert, frigid winters, endless sky, horses, and nomadic herders who practice an evolving mix of Animism, Shamanism, and Buddhism. In 2015 we traveled in the company of friends, scholars, and resourceful Mongolians, to acquaint ourselves with the land of Chinggis and Kublai Khan. This book is drawn from the notes, readings, photos, and poems inspired by our adventures on the fenceless steppe.

...Whether crossing mountains, steppes, 
or the Gobi, we meet with no fences.


The way is paved with fragments
of bone; the insistent long lift 


of winds that breathe out sage

and the fragrance of crushed onion sprigs...

A Doctor, a Camera, and a Desert Crossroads: Needles, California.

1910-1911.  An Essay from the Life and Times of Dr. Amos Dolbier Ellsworth 

In 1910 Needles, California, was a rough town -- crossroads of the Santa Fe Railroad and the Colorado River, mining center, and home of the Mojave Tribe.  Dr. A. D. Ellsworth arrived with his camera and eccentricities that year and was soon attending to the victims of a locomotive explosion and tuberculosis patients seeking health in the desert.

With period photographs, considerable research, wry humor, and strange revelations this chapbook introduces us to the town, the tribe, and the doctor. To a strange Frenchman walking the tracks with his drug habit and a pitcher of ice water.  To the only Native marching band of the era, a 16-mile automobile race won by a Stoddard-Dayton averaging 41.8 mph, and the nearly forgotten Mohave game of hoop-and-pole.

Should you drive Route 66 through Needles this book will guide to its ghosts.

"...[a] jewel of a piece of Needles history." -- Cheryl Mangin (Needles Regional Museum)

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