• .: About Ron Jackson Suresha :.

    WELCOME!
    Ron J. Suresha
    is a Lambda Literary Award finalist for his anthologies, Bi Men: Coming out (2006) and Bisexual Perspectives on the Life and Work of Alfred C. Kinsey (2010).
    His most recent book, coauthored with Scott McGillivray, is FUR: THE LOVE OF HAIR, from German publisher Bruno Gmünder. He also authored a collection of Turkish folk Tales, The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin, , which was named a Storytelling World Honor Book.
    Suresha self-published his first book, Mugs o' Joy: Delicious Hot Drinks, when he was 39. In 2002, he authored his first trade softcover, the nonfiction Bears on Bears: Interviews & Discussions. Under the name R. Jackson, he has edited the anthologies Bi Guys: The deliciousness of his sex (also a "Lammy" finalist), Bearotica, Bear Lust, Bears in the Wild, and Tales from the Den, published by Bear Bones Books, a Lethe imprint for which he serves as Acquisitions Editor. He also solo hosts and produces an occasional podcast for the adult men's Bear community, Bear Soup, which runs on BearRadio.net Monday & Wednesdays 10pm Eastern / Pacific.
  • Hibernation reviewed by Amos Lassen

    Posted By on April 8, 2014

    HIB Hibernation Suresha frcoverSuresha, Ron J. (editor). “Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards”, Bear Bones Books, 2014.

    Bear Bards and Poetry

    Amos Lassen

    Do you remember a time when men were either straight or gay? It was not that long ago. Now our community is made up of my subgroups within the larger LGBT community and one of those groups is made up of men who call themselves bears—they tend to be larger and hairier in build that say twinks or preppies or metrosexuals. And like the other subgroups bears have developed their own culture and even their own literature. For some of you the idea of a bear poet might seem incongruous—well, forget that because in this new anthology of bear poetry I found several gems.

    Editor Ron Suresha says that this anthology was three years in the making and I am sure that is not because bears don’t write poetry but because he wanted the very best and it sure looks like he got it.

    I fully believe that you can judge a people or a community but the literature it produces and while it may seem incongruous that bears who represent big burly men would write poetry, I feel that this book is very important for them and for the rest of us to be able to see what they can do. Suresha himself says that “… the bear community needs this book… a community of men like the Bears must produce art and literature that represent the inner desires of its men, and this collection of poems certainly fulfills that requirement”. We are almost past having to prove ourselves to others, now we must prove ourselves to our own community. If you look at the scope of gay literature you can find anything you might want but let me remind you that it was not always like this. I remember all too well the sad stories filled with suicides and lies and unhappy endings. By coming into our own and winning a bit acceptance by the larger community, we have seen the tide turn and now we have stories about everything you can imagine and the days of hiding are over. Yes, sure and without a doubt bears can and should write poetry and all of us—bears, non-bears, gays and straight should read it.

    I sat down to write a review and instead I find myself musing over the state of our literature but it is important to understand that the state of our literature reflects the state of our community that is based on who we are. Now on to the book.

    “Hibernation” features poetry by a who’s who of gay writers (some 40 in total). Among them are David Bergman and Albert Skip Brushaber who I understand are responsible for the title of the collection and they are joined by 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 American and Canadian contributors. Of those listed here, there are only two whose work I have never reviewed so I feel right at home. (Several of these writers I have reviewed more than once and several more than twice).

    The collection contains 100 poems most of which are written in free verse and every issue of life is contained here from the “changing standards of masculinity, male romance and lust, maturing men’s body issues, and what it means to live and love within the worldwide gay male bear community”. The tone of the poems varies—some are men looking at themselves while others are erotic and/or amusing. The beauty of poetry is that the author has complete freedom to write and in most cases it s the reader who does the interpretation. I am sure some of you remember poetry from high school or college classes in which we took a poem apart until that was left were like the bones of the turkey at Thanksgiving. I have often wondered how Lord Byron or John Milton or even e.e.cummings would react to what we did to his work. What the poems share in common is the bear experience. What I love is the fun I had reading it. I also loved that I got a new picture of some of the authors I already knew. The problem I have in reviewing something like this is that I am almost forced to concentrate on a few of the 100 poems but in that way I show bias. So I won’t and I will look at the anthology as a whole. I know too many of the writers so to pick some over others could cause ill feelings.

    I notice that rather than use the word “contributors”, Suresha uses “cubtri[b]utors” so that we are reminded who and what we are reading. I can only imagine the selection process—a poem must catch the reader immediately; there is not as much time as a short story for it to make an impression so editor Suresha had his work cut out for him and I am sure he is very proud of this volume.

    If you have ever wondered what a “bear poem” is, you will get your answer right here. If you have ever attended a bear function then you know that they bring sex, art, culture, and commerce together in a really fun way. This happens all over the world wherever bears meet…it seems natural and healthy that individuals group themselves together through ritual and language. There is a bear experience, which is shared among hundreds of thousands of bear-identified men. Most people see those deep connections in the community if they pay attention. The subculture has continued to flourish due to its position as a prominent, well-established worldwide gay and bisexual men’s community during a time of huge civil rights changes for GLBTQ people around the world. Therefore we can define “bear to mean a masculine, mature queer man is here to stay”. As Suresha says and I quote him totally (with a minor change). “If folks reading this believe in bear community and think that bear literature or a bear poetry anthology is something that our community should have, then get out and get yourself a copy and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

    Thank you, Mr Lassen!

    RJS on BearPodcast to chat about Hibernation

    Posted By on April 4, 2014

    HIB Hibernation Suresha frcoverI went on BearPodcast (show #512) to talk with the guys about my new poetry anthology, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards. We had an interesting and fun chat, but not enough time to read any poetry aloud. Before long I hope to do a video of my reading some poetry from the book.

    Here’s the audio podcast: http://bearpodcast.com/show/?p=3320

    Here’s the YouTube video:

    Hibernation readings: Danbury, NYC, Hartford, NOLA, Ptown

    Posted By on March 28, 2014

     Hibernation readingsHIB Hibernation Suresha frcover

    ~

    Danbury

    Saturday, April 5th, 2014, 9:00 pm

    Triangles Café, 66 Sugarhollow Road (Rte. 7), Danbury, CT, 203-798-6996, Triangles website

    Join the editor of the new bear poetry anthology, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, Ron J. Suresha and contributing authors David Juhren, Rocco Russo, and John Genest as they greet readers and sign copies of the book as part of the Twilight Guard + Hudson Valley Bears joint bar night.

    Facebook event page

     ~

    NYC

    Bear Bards Read! Book Launch

    Saturday, May 10th, 2014, 7:00 pm

    Bureau of General Services — Queer Division, c/o Cage, 83A Hester Street, NY, NY 10002, (646) 457-0859, http://bgsqd.com/

    Join us for a fun and fur-filled evening of hirsute literary pursuit for the premiere reading and book launch for the new bear poetry anthology, Hibernation, and other poems by bear bards. Bear down to listen up as an outstanding group of authors reads from the book as well as other poems. Time allowing, we will open the mic to anyone who wants to read their bear-themed verse. This free event will be hosted by editor Ron J. Suresha and features contributing authors Scott Hightower, Daniel Lewiston, Rocco Russo, Jordan M. Shu, Chris Vaccaro, and Emanuel Xavier.

     ~

    Hartford

    Furplay Madness

    Saturday, April 19th, 8:00pm

    Tommy’s Restaurant, 825 Saybrook Road, Middletown, CT 06475, 860-346-8686

    Join Mr. Connecticut Bear 2014, Trell Walters, for a fundraiser for True Colors and AIDS Project New Haven. There will be a brief reading by Ron Suresha, editor of the new poetry anthology, Hibernation and Other Poems by Bear Bards, as well as a 50/50 raffle including a signed copy of the book, and hairy chest / hot jock contests.

    Facebook event page

     ~

    NOLA

    Bear Bards Read at Saints + Sinners

    Saturday, May 17th, 2014, 8:00 pm [time to be confirmed)

    The Phoenix, 941 Elysian Fields, New Orleans, 504 945 9264, http://neworleansphoenix.com/

    Join us for a fun- and fur-filled evening in pursuit of the hirsute muse as award-winning poets from around the country gather to read from their new collection of poetry, Hibernation, and other poems by bear bards. This free event will be hosted by editor Ron J. Suresha and features writers Emanuel Xavier, Felice Picano, Jeff Mann, Wayne Courtois-Seligman, Shawn Syms, and Charlie Hopwood plus other contributors attending the Saints + Sinners literary festival this weekend.

    Time allowing, we will open the mic to anyone who wants to read his bear-themed verse.

     ~

    Provincetown

    Bear Bards Read at Summer Bear Week

    Thursday, July 17th, 2014, 6:00- 7:00pm

    Provincetown Public Library, 356 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657, (508) 487-7094, http://provincetownlibrary.org/

    Join us for a fun and fur-filled evening of hirsute literary pursuit for the premiere reading and book launch for the new bear poetry anthology, Hibernation, and other poems by bear bards. Bear down to listen up as an outstanding group of authors reads from the book as well as other poems. Time allowing, we will open the mic to anyone who wants to read their bear-themed verse. This free event will be hosted by editor Ron J. Suresha and features contributing authors Provincetown resident Dennis Rhodes, Scott Hightower, Charlie Hopwood, Daniel Lewiston, Rocco Russo, Jordan M. Shu, and Chris Vaccaro.

    Free event open to the adult public. Copies of Hibernation will be available at the event and at Bear Market.

     ~

    BBB logo whtypeHibernation, and other poems by bear bards

    Ron J. Suresha, editor

    Bear Bones Books

    212 pages, 5 x 8 inches

    ISBN: 978-1-59021-259-2

    eISBN: 1-59021-265-7

    Paperback: $18.00

    Distributed by: Baker & Taylor, Ingram

    http://www.bearbonesbooks.com

    Put Loaves & Fishes where it does the most good

    Posted By on March 6, 2014

    Urges Loaves be placed where it does the most good

    Published 12:28 am, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, New Milford Spectrum

    To the Editor:

    The Feb. 28 Spectrum article, “Loaves & Fishes reveals struggle,” quotes Colleen Purcell, a parent who objects to the food charity Loaves & Fishes being located on Bridge Street next to a public recreational area.

    Ms. Purcell states, “I… understand not everyone who goes there is an alcoholic, homeless, or a drug user.”

    Unless she’s being ironic, this implies a majority of the Loaves clientele is degenerate fiends who are threatening her child(ren) just by being nearby.

    But, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

    People who go to food banks and soup kitchens are not all, or mostly, or even often “alcoholic, homeless, or a drug user.” They are persons who are hungry.

    They experience, on a daily basis, various sorts of food poverty. Not because they choose it, but because they can’t afford to feed themselves.

    “Concerned parents” may have the freedom and economic privilege to drive their child(ren) to any sports field or recreational area they feel is safe, and to eat in their home or any restaurant they like.

    If only they could offer some mercy for less fortunate ones, who are compelled by no fault of their own, to use the charitable services of a community soup kitchen for their basic sustenance because they do not have the same financial or transportation options given to the privileged.

    No evidence supports the fearful statement that Loaves & Fishes clients are any of the things inferred.

    Let’s ensure the least fortunate among us are properly fed.

    Let’s put Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House where it will do the most good.

     

    Ron J. Suresha

    New Milford

     

    New RJS anthology in April: Hibernation, and other poems

    Posted By on February 26, 2014

    Soon in print — the first ever bear poetry anthology — during National Poetry Month!

    Hibernation

    and Other Poems by Bear Bards

    Ron J. Suresha, editor

    Hibernation, front cover [not final].

    Hibernation, front cover [not final]. Photography by Yogabear Studio.

     

    In April 2014, during National Poetry Month, Bear Bones Books proudly presents Hibernation, and Other Poems by Bear Bards, a smart, sexy, eclectic poetry collection written by and for gay and bisexual men of the bearish persuasion and edited by Ron J. Suresha.

    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 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.

    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

    Facebook book page for Hibernation.

    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
    ~
    Please “LIKE” us on Facebook
    Hibernation and other poems by bear bards

    ~

    Fundly page for Hibernation

    Do you feel strongly (as we do) that there should be a bear poetry anthology? Poetry books do not make money, nor do many poetry anthologies. Do you believe that the bear community should have its own arts and literature? Do you want to support an effort to bring together a collective group of outstanding writers who identify with the bear community?

    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!

    CT Storyfest performance Sat., April 26

    Posted By on January 14, 2014

    Connecticut Storytelling Festival 2014 header

    Connecticut Storytelling Festival 2014 header

    Hi folks! I’m returning to New London  for a few days to perform at the Connecticut Storytelling Festival. Here’s the info.

    Saturday, April 26th, 2014

    4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Performances

    PERFORMANCE 1 – Anne Izard Olio

    Bill Wright – Boy from the Dragon Palace
    Ron Suresha – Mullah Nasruddin: Four Brays of the Donkey
    Marcia Hupp – The Farmer’s Smart Daughter, from Mary Hamilton’s Kentucky
    Ellen Tannenbaum – Little Scraggly Hair: A Dog on Noah’s Ark by Lynn Cullen

    Emcee : Melissa Heckler

    PERFORMANCE 2
    Tom Lee
    – re: Creation the truth is a myth

    I’m dusting off my fez to present a Nasreddin Hoca story from The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin with other Anne Izard Award winners. Actually, it’s a string of stories and jokes:

    • “Cutting the branch he’s sitting on”
    • “Four brays of the donkey”
    • “When I was alive, I always went that way to the graveyard”
    • “Dog waters the headstone”
    • “You mustn’t startle the potter’s camels.”

    Please do come if you’re around. They’ll have copies of our books at the festival bookstore, I believe.

    While in New London I’ll also be meeting friends for dinner and stopping by some familiar haunts! Hope to see you there!

    Bears and Lovers, an article from FUR: The love of hair

    Posted By on January 7, 2014

    Bears and Lovers: a Bear community taxonomy

    An article from FUR: The love of hair, by Ron J. Suresha

    Part of an article on "bear types" from the book FUR by RJ Suresha

    From an article on “bear types” as published in the book FUR: THE LOVE OF HAIR by RJ Suresha