Sass n Pass

Sass 'n Pass

Sass ‘n Pass, Stephen Bett’s new (8th) book of poems, takes an unsettling look at the ironies of pop culture and the angst of contemporary life. Bett’s uncanny ear for spoken language tears at society’s shallow facade to expose the tawdry and banal. From road rage to relationship, from demented academia to the (lack of) justice system, Bett defies the politically correct and celebrates the gritty truth as only he can speak it, sparing no one — least of all himself.

Ordering Sass ‘n Pass


“What strikes me most about Bett’s work — other than its sheer skill, clarity of tone, diction, line — is its unpretentiousness… his is an observant eye and a steady one, which plays close and thoughtful attention not only to the world but to the language.”

—Peter Quartermain

“A wonderful sense of the energetic possibilities of language and a keen sense that it can be used for social change, in a very direct way, through poetry.”

—Brenda Hillman

“Spent quite some time going through Stephen Bett’s work. Was impressed by the consistency of voice and tone. Read quite a few out loud to catch his modality. Lots of quick skips and shifts you don’t catch if you read too quick. Reminded me of Olson’s comment on Pound, how his mind moves like light on water.”

—Ken Cathers

“I’m already a big fan of [Bett’s] poems, so these ones only corroborate that fact. [He] has great energy and is full of life and, my god, [he] sure knows how to write….Great fun. I really like the poetry — immensely!

“I know if Joel Oppenheimer were alive he would love [this] new book of poems. These are just the kind of poems he championed. All the poems are very good in this collection, but some are sensational, really, and I marvel at their execution and delivery, they are so full of jazz and what comes after jazz, whatever that is… The book is a seamless entity, joined by these parts (the poems), telling the story of a man in the beginnings of the new century. They are pleasing to the ear, pleasing to hear, they look good on the page, they are so subtley crafted. … Bravo!

“I’m still reading [Bett’s] books and still liking reading them, great stuff, in fact.”

—Michael Stephens