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B. J. Buckley

Official Website
Poet, Writer, Teaching Artist

Author of Comstock Review's 35th Anniversary 2021 Poetry Chapbook Winner IN JANUARY, THE GEESE




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Click Book Covers for sample poems from books and ordering information


Blurbs and Reviews

B.J. Buckley has driven more miles across and around the west than any poet alive, and she has the keen eye and intellect to mesh her experience and her emotional vision. Her love of the natural world and its belongings is finely honed and wise, and her poems live in same world they come from. The words are to believe, and to believe in.

Kent Nelson,

editor of Birds in the Hand: Fiction and Poetry About Birds, and author of

The Touching That Lasts and Land That Moves, Land That Stands Still

These poems pay tribute to many of the ways the Corvids have interacted with humans. (B.J.) uses chants, rhymes, poetic forms, and free verse to create mythology that is both old and familiar and, at the same time, stunningly original. Her poems speak to a reverence for not only the birds themselves but that which is numinous in human experience.  Reading these poems changes how we see these beautiful birds, and changes how we see the mystical and spiritual in our lives.

Jane Elkington Wohl, PhD, author of Beasts in Snow, Triage, Learning from the Old Masters, and Bound Feet

B.J. Buckley squeezes all the Big Sky possible—mountain, river, prairie,
pasture, bear, and barn—into this wondrously rich volume of wildness and
range. Reading it makes the heart hurt in the best ways. I proudly claimed
poetic Montana citizenship after reading the magic within.


J. Drew Lanham, PhD,  Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Clemson University, author of the memoir The Home Place, and Sparrow Envy, poems.



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B.J. Buckley is a rural Montana poet & writer who has worked in Arts-in-Schools & Communi-ties programs throughout the West and Midwest for more than four decades.


Her prizes and awards include the Joy Harjo Prize from CutThroat: A Journal of the Arts; a Wyoming Arts Council Literature Fellowship; The Cumberland Poetry Review's Robert Penn Warren Narrative Poetry Prize; the Poets & Writers “Writers Exchange Award” in Poetry; the Rita Dove Poetry Prize from the Center for Women Writers, Winston-Salem, NC; and The Comstock Review Poetry and Poetry Chapbook Prizes.

She has been awarded residencies at The Ucross Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Colrain Manuscript Conference.


B. J. is available for residencies in school, community, and healthcare settings in poetry, literature, book making, and paper arts; adult writing workshops, conferences, readings; and poetry manuscript consultations.

She lives with her partner and critters along the Rocky Mountain Front, in the beer barley country

west of Great Falls, Montana.


Poems and Links

In January, the Geese

in their long strings every morning
in the pastel sky twining
south and west and east,
towards the fields of stubbled barley
and dry grasses and withering
winter wheat, every evening returning
all degrees of north
to the shallowing stock ponds
and the little flows in the coulees
that every day diminish, in the morning
loud as crowds of playground children
set free from the multiple darknesses
of rooms, at sunset more quiet,
honking to stragglers and the lonely ones
widowed by hunters, and intent on shelter
from fox and coyote, the betraying
waxing moon. This year
they never left us, despite September
and October howling blizzards
that stole autumn’s last ripening
with a grave’s depth of snow,
and winds that ripped siding
from barns and twisted pivots
and toppled cottonwoods a century
old whose trunks no six men holding
hands could circle. The ground
had not yet frozen. Nor has it since.
The winds grew warm as April
and melted all but the hardest drifts
packed deep in the caraganas. The iris
has put up new leaves among the old
that never lost their green. Buds swell
on relict lilacs whose calendars
equate the warmth and rising light
with spring. And it may be. The owls
are already calling for their mates
and staking claims to hollowed trunks
and hawk nests whose former occupants
are still absent. It’s supposed to be bleak
midwinter. Yesterday I heard a meadowlark,
an evening grosbeak, the great horned’s
amorous pleading, wild caroling of geese
before dawn when I am out on the stoop
feeding the barn cats, who are almost
certainly pregnant too early. I wish
I could trust this disastrous shift
of temperature, make peace with it
as the geese have done, so many of them
already gathering choicest sticks for nests.

from the Chapbook of the same title, winner of the 35th Anniversary 2021 Comstock Review Poetry Chapbook Contest, available now! Click on the book cover in BOOKS section for ordering information

Recent poems in Vita Poetica, an online quarterly publication of creative work explored through a spiritual lens:



Recent poems in Issue 3 of The Otherwise Collective's Plant-Human Quarterly, an online journal which explores the myriad ways writers manifest their relationship to the botanical world, attempting to communicate across boundaries and possibly approach a plant’s-eye-view of the world:


My poem "Winter Spiders", in Spring 2019 Issue of Sky Island Journal:


My poem "Killing Floor", which won an Honorable Mention In the 2019 Southern Humanities Review's Auburn Witness Prize:


My poem "Freight" in the online Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine, an Intersect of Authors and Art:


My poem "Solitary Vireo" in Press 53's Issue 3.31 of Prime Decimals

(please scroll down till you find it, after several stories by others):


My poem "Insomnia: A Suite in Thirteen Hours", which won

First Prize, Margaret Reid, Traditional Verse, in Winning Writers' Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, 2014:


Link to a 2022 hour-long interview by French Video Blogger Liana Voia, who has a continuing project interviewing artists in the United States who also teach in their art form:

B.J. Buckley, Teaching Poet, Writer, Visual Artist, Montana, USA.mp4

My poems "Night Fishing", "The Missouri and Matisse", and "Autumn Haiku" in Summer 2012 Issue of Distnctly Montana Magazine:


Links to my MT, SD, and NE Arts Council Roster Profiles:






Other Writers' Links to Explore

Please check out the website of my friend and wonderful poet Jami Macarty,   

get information for ordering her prize-winning book The Minuses, and read  poems   

from her next book (seeking a publisher) in Interim: A Journal of Poetry & Poetics   




The Minuses: https://upcolorado.com/university-press-of-colorado/item/3779-the-minuses   

A poem from my next book: https://www.tinfishpress.org/22-jami-macarty   


Poet Raphael Kosek, 2019-2020 Dutchess County, NY Poet Laureate,

is the winner of The Comstock Review's Jesse Bryce Niles 2021 Chapbook Contest

for her fine work Harmless Encounters. Check out her website!



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Readings, Workshops, Conferences

Upcoming Events, currently on hold due to ongoing COVID concerns, will be listed in this space


                    B. J. Buckley, wild4verses@yahoo.com

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