Bree was born in Cleveland, OH May 10, 1978. she began writing poetry and songs, and performing them at open mics and poetry readings while she was in high school. in 2001 she founded Green Panda Press, which produces hand-made chapbooks, anthologies, art books, broadsides and ephemera by independent poets and artists, in the tradition of the mimeo-revolution of the late 1960s. designing the books and making art for the cover was her first real taste of graphic design. by 2008 many of the covers were drawings she made, altho she did not take them seriously. Bree did not take an art class or study art history, rather she drew from what work inside the books inspired her.
Cleveland in 2001 was a city somewhat divided. there was even a poetry press named Split City. Bree fancied having poets from the various schools or factions face each other on a page, or share the stage at readings. she might feature an academic poet with a street poet and nature poet, who may not have otherwise encountered each others work. this way boundaries were seen for what there were–imaginary. by being inclusive she enjoyed a vast community, that would only grow. working with local media outlets, libraries, bookstores, restaurants, taverns, art galleries and other local presses Green Panda put on city-wide festivals, like Rabbits Over Clevyland-to honor d.a. levy (2006), Kenneth Patchen Fest (2007), Tres Versing Cleve (2008), Sixteen Floors Above the Ground-to raise money and awareness for the Sudanese Lost Boys of Cleveland (2009), Green Panda Marches On (2014) and others like them.
between 2000 and 2010 Bree performed her original songs as well as blues and jazz standards with bands Johnnycake, Birdcake and Very Sharp & Midnight in libraries, bars, restaurants, house parties and parks in Northeast Ohio . Thereafter she has been featured by acts in OH and KY, blending her words into new landscapes. She has written more than 40 songs in just over 20 years- written while walking, mostly. They are country, they are folk, rock, bluesy but they are Bree.
between 2007-2014 she wrote the memoirs was chicken trax amid sparrows tread, The Rainbow Sweater & My Mother and A Leg to Stand On. they will be combined into a single volume by GTK Press in Cleveland 2/16.
May 2008 began a serious decline in her physical health do to neurological conditions, including intractable, or daily migraines. by 2013 the full-time pain and full-time job manifested in her a severe anxiety. the pain fed the anxiety, the anxiety fed the pain. it was hard to manage a career and make art or do writing. she reluctantly went on the anti-anxiety med Paxil.
October 2013 Bree quit the drug Paxil cold turkey. her doctor at the time was on a European vacation, so she did not know you arent supposed to quit Paxil cold turkey. she didnt know that a withdrawal symptom of the drug was drawing. she began drawing every morning out of compulsion. she drew poets, in particular, and made some of her first collages, often textual in nature. there was a warm response to these early works, however they were rude, and unsophisticated. in the spring of 2014 she decided to hone her skills by illustrating d.a. levys long poem Suburban Monastery Death Poem. it took 80-some drawings, and looks and reads like a graphic novel.
late summer 2014 she moved to Pleasureville, KY. a slower pace, and plenty of space, her new life resembled the monastic. it consisted of walking, drawing, writing and honing disciplines that needed to be honed. there may have been a few random moonshine nights–to see what the locals were up to. while graphic design for Green Panda endeavors had been a fascination, drawing became as integral to her well-being as poetry had been, for she was surrounded on all sides by pastoral beauty. she taught herself to draw always better by sitting down always with a blank mind. she is left-handed, however she can only use her right hand, and a mouse–rather than a pencil to draw, usually on the app Paint, which came free on her computer. she drew the planets, gods and goddesses. February-March 2015 she drew a deck of tarot cards, using the Rider-Waite deck as guide and inspiration. drawing so many figures, she began to study the nude form, as to improve.
March 2015 she began Least Bittern Books in Henry County, KY. Bree eagerly published and illustrated full-length poetry manuscripts by Charles Potts, John Swain, herself and e b bortz. Least Bit expects to produce four titles in 2016. Green Panda continues to put out hand-made books, bound in dental floss, or with double-sided window insulation tape, and such.
Bree is inspired by women of myth and lore, barbaric, anarchistic and prehistoric cultures, nature-birds in particular, religious iconography, the human figure, landscapes and anything that causes her to pause. if it were not for the spiritual, she would not be so grabbed. to her, there is no discrepancy between art and spirit. if one thrives, the other surely will. you will be able to see her progress as a self-taught artist in the forthcoming art book Bree: do well of must (Green Panda Press 2016).