Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books

There is also an exhibit on banned books at the Bicentennial Library. Remember, September is banned books month.

zen saying

If you understand,
things are just as they are.
If you do not understand,
things are just as they are.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Banned Books

Check out the exhibit on banned books at the newly reopened Stone Cup coffeehouse in North Chattanooga. Remember, September is banned books month.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I know several of you have already read or heard this, but here it is again. - Ray

Sign – First Published at www.tpqonlin.org

This message brought to you
by the Tennessee Valley Authority,
by business, industry and government,
by progress, prosperity and jobs.

It’s an element.
It’s a metal.
It’s a liquid.
It’s toxic.

It’s a capsule
launched into space
to orbit the earth,
splash down
in the Pacific Ocean.

Alan Shepard
rode the first
Mercury capsule;
splashed down
in the pages
of history books.

Tennessee River waters contain
not the space capsule,
but the element.
It’s a metal.
It’s a liquid.
It’s toxic.

Tennessee River fish contain
not the space capsule,
but the element.
It’s a metal.
It’s a liquid.
It’s toxic.

Pregnant women
should not eat
these fish.

Nursing mothers
should not eat
these fish.

should not eat
these fish.

Adult males
may eat
these fish.

Women past child bearing age
may eat
these fish.

Elderly people
are encouraged to eat
these fish.

Homeless people
are required to eat
these fish.

That is all.
Have a nice day.

This piece was first published at www.tpqonline.org and has since appeared in Presenting the Beatniks, a publication of the Trenton Arts Council, Trenton, Georgia. It also appears in my chap book, Searching for Cranes. Contributing Editor Jeff Biggers reviewed Searching for Cranes in the November/December, 2008 issue of Bloomsbury Review. Copies of Presenting the Beatniks and Searching for Cranes are archived at Poets House, New York, New York.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


After privately celebrating my birthday on Thursday, September 17, I will begin my 58th year with gusto. I have a leadership role in four events this weekend. Contact me at znaturalist@yahoo.com for details.:

Saturday, September 19 at 2:00 PM I will lead a discussion of Ted Kooser's book, Poetry Home Repair Manual at Rock Point Books, 401 Broad St., Chattanooga. TN.

Saturday, September 19 at 6:00 PM I will participate in the New Voices Poetry Reading at Pasha Coffee House, 3914 St. Elmo Ave., Chattanooga, TN.

Sunday, September 20 at 8:30 AM I will serve as Lay Reader for the 8:30 worship service of First Centenary United Methodist Church, 419 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, TN.

Sunday, September 20 at 1:00 pm I will lead a guided wildflower walk at Reflection Riding, 400 Garden road, Chattanooga, TN.

Congratulations KB

Congratulations to Chattanooga Writers Guild member KB Ballentine. She will read from and sign copies of her new book, Fragments of Light at Carpe Librum Booksellers, 5113A Kingston Pike, Knoxville on Saturday, September 26, 2009, at 2 p.m.
I have read the book and recommend it highly.
According to the Press Release:
Fragments of Light explores how light and shadows affect both nature and people. One reader states, "It reminds me of a Monet painting with all the soft colors in the poems." Steven Cramer, MFA Creative Writing Program Director at Lesley University, notes that KB "invites nature 'indoors,' into her subjective life." Fragments of Light tempts the reader to linger with each poem as language wraps around illusion.

Ballentine teaches theatre arts and creative writing at Rhea County High School. Celtic Cat Publishing published her first collection of poems, Gathering Stones, in 2008. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and publications, including Bent Pin, MO: Writings from the River, Sequoia Review, River Poets Journal, and Naugatuck River Review. In 2006 she was a finalist for the Joy Harjo Poetry Award and in 2006 and 2007 was awarded a prize from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund. Readers can contact KB via her website: www.kbballentine.com.

For those of you attending the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, KB will participate in the panel "Stones and Light: The Natural World in Verse." at noon on Saturday, October 10. She will sign copies of her books at 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Revising Your Poetry

Discussion of Ted Kooser's Book
Poetry Home Repair Manual
2:00 PM
Saturday, September 19
Rock Point Books
401 Broad St.
Chattanooga, TN 37409
For Info call (423) 315-0721
Led by Ray Zimmerman, former President, Chattanooga Writers Guild

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Voices

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ray Zimmerman, (423) 315-0721

New Voices Poetry Reading
Saturday, September 19
Pasha Coffee Shop
3914 St. Elmo Avenue
Chattanooga, Tennessee
6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
(423) 315-0721

Enjoy readings by local writers and intermission music by Dr. Jim Woodford and friends.

Featured Writers:
Jim Pfitzer Jim has shared his tales about wild places, simple living and adventures from coast to coast at festivals, libraries, schools, parties, coffeehouses and special events. He has been called “a True Tennessee Treasure!” and his two CDs reflect a great love of that “greenest state in the land of the free” and wild places all across our great land.

Ray Zimmerman read his poem “Glen Falls Trail” at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville , in October of 2007. The poem took second place in the Tennessee Writers Alliance poetry contest, and the reading was part of an awards ceremony.

E. Smith Gilbert has published extensively in the United States and Great Brittan. His works appear regularly in Poetica and in TPQ Online.

Jane Starner has been writing poetry for decades. Most of her published work, however, has been essays in literary journals. Since moving to Chattanooga after 36 years of teaching (high school and college), she has been a docent at the Hunter Museum, a carousel animal carver, and a writing specialist for Allied Arts.

Bob Dombrowski is the chairperson of the Trenton Arts Council and has published and distributed approximately 100 artist’s books. In 1993, he was nominated for a pushcart prize. He has been published with “The Unbearables” in the Autonomedia20Publication, “Help Yourself”. He has also been published in the Daumler-Chrysler book “Moving People with Words”. He is also included in the publication “Emerson at Harvard”.

Michael Bodine is informally known as the Poet Laureate of East Ridge. His poetry is noted for intricate and sometimes humorous rhyme schemes.

Ginnie Sams writes poetry as a daily meditation. She is one of the original Trenton Beatnik Poets.

Music by Dr. Jim Woodford and Friends
Dr. Jim Woodford, PhD, Forensic Chemist, will play keyboards.
Dr. Bob Vogt, PhD, Medical Researcher, will play soprano saxophone.

If you see a writer on fire, fan the flames.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Non Poetry Published Works List

Selected Publications and Awards

“Nature’s Bookshelf” was Ray’s regular column in The Hellbender Press Knoxville, Tennessee for nearly two years. Each installment was a profile of an environmental author or nature writer. The column began with the November/December issue, 2005

Ray won Second Place in the 2007 poetry contest of the Tennessee Writers Alliance. He read his poem, “Glen Falls Trail” at the awards ceremony of the Southern Festival of Books at Legislative Plaza, Nashville, Tennessee.

In Legacy: The Journal of Interpretation, National Association for Interpretation, Fort Collins, Colorado
“The End of Nature” (Book Review), Volume 1, Number 3
“Wildlife Rehabilitation and the Chattanooga Nature Center” (Article) Volume 2, Number 2
“The 1991 Science Teacher Enrichment Workshop at Everglades National Park” (Article) Volume 2, Number 6
“Being Kind to Animal Pests” (Book Review) Volume 3, Number 3
“Joe Taft, Veteran NAI Member,” (Biographical Sketch) Volume 3, Number 5
“Dinosaurs Come to Chattanooga” (Article) Volume 5, Number 6

In Photo Traveler, Los Angeles, California
“Alabama: Little River National Preserve” (Article) October/November, 1993
“Okefenokee Swamp” (Article) February/March, 1994
“Tennessee’s Ocoee River” (Article) February/March, 1995

In EnviroLink Magazine, Chattanooga, Tennessee
“Moccasin Bend, Part One: Key to the Past” (Article) December, 1995
“Moccasin Bend, Part 2: Preserving the Resource” (Article) March 1996

In The Hellbender Press, Knoxville, Tennessee
“A Walk on the Levee” (Article) June/July 2003
“The Levee Revisited” (Article) October/November 2003

In Cappers, Topeka, Kansas
“Annual Chincoteague Pony Roundup” (Article), 1989

In Tennessee Conservationist, Nashville, Tennessee
Growing Green at Greenway Farm (Photographs to accompany an article by Louise Zepp, Editor), May/June 1997

In The PSA Journal, Photographic Society of America, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma “Pic of the Month,” (Photograph) April, 1997

The United Methodist Reporter, First Centenarian Edition, Chattanooga, Tennessee
“25 Years of Inner City Ministry” October 30, 1992
“Send an Inner City Child to Camp” April 14, 1995

In The Signal Mountain Post, Published in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
“Dulcimer Concert at Mountain Arts Community Center was Stunning” (Concert Review) July 21, 2005

In Native Ground, Newsletter of the Chattanooga Nature Center (also under the publication’s former title, Nature Notes):
Numerous short articles on nature, astronomy, and natural history over an eleven year period from 1990 through 2002

In The Art of Living, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Numerous short articles on nature and natural history

In Southern Exposure, (also under the publication’s former name, Franklinia), Region III newsletter of the National Association for Interpretation, Fort Collins, Colorado
Numerous short articles on natural history and the profession of nature interpretation

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Voices

The next New Voices poetry reading at Pasha Coffee House (3914 St. Elmo Avenue) will take place Saturday, September 19, 6:00 to 8:30 PM. It will feature readings by area poets and improv music by Dr. Jim Woodford and friends.

Poetry Is

Poetry is
looking the Devil
in the eye
and telling him
to get on back
to Hell
where he belongs,
or if you are
Charles Bukowski,
inviting him in,
for drinks.

Composed August, 2009

Author’s Statement

Passion is all that matters in writing. As a certain old Jazz singer said, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that zing.” The greatest issue I see with much of the writing I read is that it lacks fire. We write to combat the indignities thrust upon us by nature, our fellow man, and even by God. We write to make sense of a violent, harsh, and indifferent world. We write to make our lives count for something. Beside that, the trite and banal clich├ęs you hear in writing clinics, such as “Show, don’t tell,” are mere pabulum.