Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Shadow of Sirius

The Shadow of Sirius
W.S. Merwin
Reviewed by Ray Zimmerman
Merwin completed this collection shortly before being named Poet Laureate of the United States. These hauntingly beautiful works reflect his lifelong concern for the natural world and use of stunning nature images. “The Curlew,” is a personal favorite of this reviewer:
When the moon has gone I fly on alone
into this night where I have never been....
The poems are evocative of the spirit Merwin manifested his earlier collection The Lice, and particularly the poem “For a Coming Extinction::”
Gray whale
Now that we are sending you to The End
That great god
Tell him
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing
Get a copy of this book today.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Talismans (Short Fiction Collection)
Sybil Baker
Reviewed by Ray Zimmerman
Elise is disarmingly honest in her appraisal of the boys and men in her life. As heroine of this collection of linked short stories, she begins her narrative in kindergarten when she beats a boy in a race and doesn’t realize until years later why this victory fails to impress him. She is equally forthright in her commentary on the adult men who later appear as friends, companions, and lovers.
The one man who remains enigmatic is the father who returned from Vietnam to start a family with her mother and abandoned them the year after she was born. He seeks peace in another Asian country and dies of drowning before she enters school.
A grown Elise travels to Asia after the death of her mother who seemed as distant as the deceased father. As a teacher and then a casual tourist she is determined to find clues to her father’s life and motivation. A powerful ending reveals how both parents have shaped her psyche through their absence, perhaps with greater impact than presence could have allowed. A must read.

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Voices

New Voices:
This Saturday with Guest MC Finn bille
Pasha Coffee House,
3914 St. Elmo Avenue,
6:00 to 9:00 PM
Saturday February 19, 2011

Hot improvisational jazz meets the power of the spoken word. The Undoctored Originals include Dr. Jim Woodford, Keyboards, Dr. Bob Vogt, Saxophone, Billy Lowry, Drums, Ian Kibby, Euphonium, and Jack Gaillard, Congas.

Readings by Chattanooga area writers: Past participants have included Ray Zimmerman, Finn Bille, Jim Pfitzer, Bruce Majors, N.L. Diwan, Mary Wier, Julie Alexander, K.B Ballentine, E. Smith Gilbert, Christian J. Collier, Mark “Pork Chop” Holder, Bob Dombrowski, Marcus Ellsworth, and others.

Look for a special New Voices,

Saturday, March 19, 8 – 10 PM

Salvation Army hall across from UTC.

The Monday edition is a fund raiser for Tennessee Wild.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Meacham Writers Workshop


Offering free readings and workshops twice a year, the biannual conference connects local writers with award-winning authors.

Chattanooga, Tennessee (February 10, 2011) – Since 1985 the Meacham Writers’ Conference has been an opportunity for the Chattanooga community improve their own writing, as well as appreciate the work of nationally and internationally acclaimed authors. Each conference includes public readings by the visiting authors, as well as workshops, individual conferences, and seminars for local writers to receive feedback and instruction from the published writers. Held March 24-26th, all events are free and open to the public.

Visiting writers this conference include Iztok Osojnic and Amir Or from Slovenia and Israel, respectively, Art Smith, John Hoppenthaler, Cathy Holton, Beth Nugent, Laurel Snyder, Robert Vivian and Terrence Hawkins.

Readings will be held Thursday, March 24 at 7:00pm at Chattanooga State, Health Science Center, HSC 1085, as well as a community reading/reception at 909 Oak Street Fortwood (near UTC) at 9:00pm; Friday, March 25 at 12:00pm at UTC, University Center, Raccoon Mountain room, 7:00 pm at UTC, EMCS building, Benwood Auditorium; and Saturday, March 26 3:00pm at the Chattanooga Theatre Center.

A combination of creative writing workshops, individual conferences and seminars will be held on Saturday, March 26th from 9:00am to 2:00pm at UTC’s University Center. Additionally, there will be an hour of individual conferences on Friday afternoon from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
All those who submit works for review will be assigned to a seminar with a writer in the genre they have submitted. In addition, participants may indicate their preference for an individual workshop, group workshop, or participation in both. There are, however, limited spaces for individual conferences, and organizers will set priorities in filling those slots.

To participate, writers MUST submit their work by March 1st. Up to three poems or up to twelve double-spaced pages of prose can be submitted. Please visit to submit and for more information. Online submission is preferred, however, if absolutely necessary, participants may bring three copies each of their work in collated packets to Richard Jackson, Meacham Writer's Workshop, UTC Engl. Department #2703, 203 Holt Hall.