Beard of Bees was founded in 2001 as the publishing wing for the Gnoetry experiment — as a place to publicly show the results of experiments with human-computer poetic collaboration. The Press soon widened its scope to include human poets, mainly poets the editor knew and encountered, including poets he “met” through his work at the Chicago Review. The Press then moved from a solicitation-only model to an open-submissions policy and published works that explored mechanisms beyond the Neo-Liberal lyric “I” and that questioned typical narrative strategies.

Maybe we were successful.

Way back in the early aughts, the publisher and editor also recognized the heady opportunity to be one of the very first on-line publishers of poetry chapbooks (several on-line creative writing ‘zines and journals existed at the time, of course). The work of the Press continued until 2017, with Beard of Bees Press publishing the work of human/machine partnerships, female, queer, and male humans, and humans of color in high-quality PDF format, giving readers a little more than a taste and a little less than a smorgasbord.

A big buzzing “Thank you” to all the poets and readers (a special thank you to our devoted following in Tallinn, Estonia!)

Alas, it is time for the bee-beard to swarm.

We must leave now (“take what you need, you think will last”).

Eric Elshtain & Jon Trowbridge
July 2020