B.J. Best holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Hanging Loose, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Mid-American Review, Nimrod, North American Review, Quarterly West, and Sentence. His is the author of State Sonnets (sunnyoutside, 2009), as well as Birds of Wisconsin (New Rivers Press, 2010), winner of the Many Voices Project (MVP) competition. Best has published two chapbooks: Mead Lake, This (Centennial Press, 2007) and a long poem entitled Crap (Centennial Press, 2005). His most recent chapbook is Drag: Twenty Short Poems about Smoking.
Among Best’s awards for his poetry are six Pushcart Prize nominations, and contest prizes from Ellipsis, Free Verse, and the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. He was the inaugural Featured Artist in Cream City Review, and in 2008 was a finalist to serve as Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate.
Best serves as the editor, publisher, and piano player for Desperado Press, a publisher of chapbooks, broadsides, and the bimonthly “broadzine” Arbor Vitae. He serves on the Advisory Board for Verse Wisconsin and is also the vice president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. He teaches at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and lives in the Wisconsin countryside with his wife, son, their three cats, and the occasional salamander in their basement.