Sunday, June 19, 2011

Southern Light

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

Southern Light at Summer Showcase

Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets will be included in Summer Showcase, an exhibition at Poets House, NYC, in July, 2011. At the conclusion of the exhibition, a copy will be archived in the Poets House library and database.

Ford, Falcon and McNeil, publishers, released Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets in April of this year. The book is a diverse collection of works by authors connected to the southern landscape. Each poet speaks, with a unique voice, of a land illuminated by the hot southern sun. Over 180 poems celebrate both regional traditions and life in the New South.

The collection begins with twenty poems reclaimed from out of print works by Robert Morgan and continues with poems by regional writers. Many of the works are published in this volume for the first time while others are well known and award winning.

Southern Light includes poems by: Robert Morgan, Penny Dyer, Bill Brown, Bruce Majors, Jenny Sadre-Orafai, Rebecca Cook, Ray Zimmerman, E. Smith Gilbert, Helga Kidder, K. B. Ballentine, Finn Bille, and Dan Powers. Ray Zimmerman served as Executive Editor, while Bruce Majors and Ed Lindberg also served on the editorial team.

Follow Southern Light on Faceboook at!/pages/Southern-Light/159959427392604

Hear Southern Light poets read their work at

ISBN 978-0-9827252-2-1

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Ray Zimmerman

Ray Zimmerman is the Executive Editor of Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets, an eclectic anthology that celebrates both regional traditions and life in the New South. He is a former president of the Chattanooga Writers Guild and won Second Place in the 2007 Poetry Contest of the Tennessee Writers Alliance. Ten days after undergoing coronary bypass surgery, he read his winning poem, “Glen Falls Trail,” at the awards ceremony of the Southern Festival of Books at Legislative Plaza, Nashville, Tennessee. Jeff Biggers, Associate Editor of the Bloomsbury Review, favorably reviewed Ray’s Chapbook, Searching for Cranes, in his end of year roundup article. Biggers referred to Ray as a “southern Edward Abbey or Terry Tempest Williams.” Ray was the subject of a feature article in the September, 2008 issue of Blush magazine.

Published Poems
“Sign” appeared in TPQ Online
“Glen Falls Trail” appeared in subsequently in Presenting the Beatniks
“Cranes” appeared in the Chattanooga Chat, newsletter of Tennessee Ornithological Society – Chattanooga Chapter
“Reincarnation” appeared in the Earth First! Journal
“No Hair,” Moonscape,” and “Dog Star – Isis” appeared in Presenting the Beatniks
“Moonscape” was part of a collection the Create Here gallery in Chattanooga, Tennessee published on their windows to celebrate local poets
“No Hair” and “Sign” appeared in the DVD The Beatniks are Back, read by the author and accompanied by The Drum Circle. The Contrapasso interpretive dance troop performed a dance during the performance of “Sign”

Ray's photography has appeared in Tennessee Conservationist and the Photographic Society of America Journal. He has shown his work at the Creative Arts Guild (Dalton, Georgia) and in local galleries and shows in Chattanooga. He is a former Board Member of the Photographic Society of Chattanooga.

Published Prose
“Nature’s Bookshelf” was a column in the Bimonthly publication Hellbender Press, Knoxville, Tennessee. Each installment was a profile of a nature or environmental author.
“March 1: A Walk on the Levee,” and “The Levee Revisited” appeared in Hellbender Press, Knoxville, Tennessee.
“The Owl and I,” “Journey to Springtime,” “The Little River Canyon: A New National Park,” and “Owls of Springtime” appeared the The Art of Living, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“Moccasin Bend Part I: Key to the Past” and “Moccasin Bend Part II:” Preserving the Resource” appeared in Envirolink magazine, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“A Tale of Two Landscapes” appeared in The Chattanooga Chat, newsletter of the Chattanooga Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society.
“Annual Assateague Pony Roundup” appeared in Cappers.
“Tennessee’s Ocoee River,” “The Little River Canyon,” and “Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge” appeared in Photo Traveler, San Francisco.
“Making Friends with and Opossum” and “Owl Aboard” appeared in Franklinia, Southeast region newsletter of the National Association for Interpretation. Franklinia was named for a rare tree discovered by Bartram and named for Benjamin Franklin. The newsletter has since been renamed Southern Exposure.
Several short pieces in Nature Notes, the Newsletter of the Chattanooga Nature Center, since renamed Native Ground.
“Dinosaurs Come to Chattanooga,” and several other feature pieces appeared in Legacy, the Journal of Interpretation, a publication for park rangers and nature interpreters.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fire Poems

A more recent review

Fire Poems. opens with the author awakened from a pleasant dream to a crashing burning home, from which he and his wife escape through a window. The glass has melted and cracked away to create the portal for their getaway and rebirth. The cleansing fire burns away a dead starling trapped in a window screen. Through the entire book, the beat of Finn's Djembe drum resonates, the goat skin head cracked and burned away, the hollow body shooting flame. Perhaps the most poignant of all images appears in the short poem “Silence of Ashes,” in which a Plum Wood Flute, now gone, was once a blossoming twig, once a source of music and joy. A copy of his previous book, “Rites of the Earth,” escapes with charred pages. From these bits and pieces they reconstruct their lives. Fire Poems is a must read for all who have survived tragedy, and for those yet to do so.