Photo of Ray Zimmerman by Virginia Webb
October 22, 2018
I am pleased to announce my new poetry and color photography chap book Healing and Conflict which is available later this week. More than half of the poems are previously published in journals, including:
The Avocet (Fountain Hills, AZ)
Number One (Gallatin, TN)
Quill and Parchment (Online)
Weatherings Anthology (FutureCycle Press, Lexington, KY)
The author will assume primary distribution at readings, signings and open mic events.
Terrence Chouinard of The Wing and the Wheel Press contributed the perfect typography and design skills to this collection. The local Chattanooga printing company Wonder Press did an excellent job with production.
Fellow poets had this to say about the advance copy:
Ray Zimmerman’s collection of poems Healing and Conflict invites the reader outside: “go and watch/rain falling on parched earth. /see it come back to life.” His words, like that rain, are transformative to those who look and listen. Trees burn with ice, water cascades, booming, against mountain hardwoods. Most memorable are the birds. Warblers, hawks, barred owls, chickadees, and cranes provide this book’s unifying motif, and a delightful surprise, when the reader joins a flock of blackbirds in flight.
Author of Beauty Bound
“I have come to understand / that my poems are not poems…but the poetics of the earth” (“Intro Part I”). Ray Zimmerman explores nature through language and language through nature. With images and similes like “The winter snow arrived like a sonnet. / It reached the house in three waves, / capped by a couplet of ice” (“Winter Snow”), the reader becomes immersed in Zimmerman’s vivid landscape, both verbal and actual. Though he claims, “My poems are shadows on the wall” (“Intro Part II”), Zimmerman’s words intrigue the reader as she delves into the subtext of these poems, and they continue to haunt her long after the book is closed.
Almost Everything, Almost Nothing
In “Introduction, Part II, Zimmerman says “If you enjoy my poem about falling rain or about cranes in flight…go and watch rain falling on parched earth…listen to cranes trumpeting as they take to the air.” In Healing, these poems not only have a prayerful devotion to the natural world but use specific names, images and Zimmerman’s hard-won humor from handling hawks, eagles and owls. In Conflict, he reminds us of the massive plastic islands humans have left floating in the oceans, of trends of certain species’ depletions. Yet, this chapbook is a celebration of birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, of seasons and landscapes of planet earth, narrated with sensory details and a deeply personal voice.
--Bill Brown, The News Inside
I have planned a series of readings and signings here in Chattanooga and am in contact with possible hosts of readings or signings in Nashville. I also hope to arrange a reading or signing in Knoxville and in the metro Atlanta area.