C. R. Grimmer
C. R. Grimmer, who also goes by Chelsea Grimmer and uses she/her and they/them pronouns interchangeably is a poet, public scholar, and teacher living in Seattle, WA. They are the author of The Lyme Letters (Texas Tech University Press, Winner of the Walt McDonald First Book Award) and O–(ezekiel's wife), a chapbook and audiobook collaboration from GASHER Journal and Press. C. R. completed their Ph.D. in English at the University of Washington (U.W.) with support from fellowships such as The Simpson Center for the Humanities' Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Public Humanities Fellowship, their M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Portland State University (P.S.U.) and their M.A. in Literature from P.S.U.
C. R.'s public scholarship and publications include The Poetry Vlog (TPV), a YouTube Teaching Channel and Podcast dedicated to building social justice coalitions through arts, poetry, and higher education dialogue. A peer-reviewed Critical Edition of TPV, which includes scholarly critical framing with sample lesson plans, is under contract with the University of Michigan Press, Fulcrum for 2023-2024. C. R.'s poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry Magazine, FENCE Magazine, and [PANK], while their peer-reviewed scholarship has appeared journals and essay collections such as The Comparatist.
In Winter 2021, C. R. began a new position as Communications Manager (also titled Public Information Specialist) for The Walter G. Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities at the U.W. in Seattle, WA. They are also the Public Scholarship Project Director in the U.W. Department of English, which includes their work as Series Editor for "Literature, Language, Culture: A Dialogue Series."
C. R.'s research examines intersections of activist poetry and pop culture for critiquing racial capitalism in global climate change. The approach builds on feminist, queer, and antiracist coalitions from the 1980's to explore contemporary and digital activist coalitions building otherwise worlds and possibilities. Their current scholarly book project, Poetry as Public Scholarship: Activist Poetics in the Time of Social Media, combines research analysis and practitioner discourses through text, audio, and video to examine the relationships between racial capitalism, popularized poetry, digital humanities' social engagement, and public scholarship methods. Their current poetry book, O, examines the lesser-told stories of non-binary and female-identifying characters in the Old Testament.
The artwork on this and the Books page is by Colleen Burner (they/them). The full series can viewed in the print edition of O–(ezekiel's wife).
Selected by Series Editor Rachel Mennies as the recipient of the Walt McDonald First Book Award, The Lyme Letters is epistolary verse that spells out a memoir. R, a non-binary femme character, narrates their experience of disease and recovery through recurrent letters to doctors, pets, family members, lovers, and a "Master." R, in letter form and repurposed religious texts, also explores the paradoxical experiences of queer non-reproductivity, chronic illness and disability, and the healing that can be found in the liminal spaces between.
"An epistolary novel in verse, The Lyme Letters is a correspondence between bodies both inhabited and desired, as full and vital as the spaces where river water breaks against stones, churning with life. There is an effervescence to this poetry that replenishes the imagination and revitalizes language in extraordinary ways. 'I said all this while waves coiled back,' writes C. R. Grimmer, and 'sing my song for the reeds.'" – D. A. Powell, author of Chronic
The Lyme Letters
The Lyme Letters: Audiobook
Stevi Costa, aka Sailor St Claire
The print edition features a visual art series by Colleen Burner, which is titled: "Hewn Fruit."
The audio edition is a collaboration with Digital Sound Artist Judy Twedt. It features digital soundscapes accompanying poetry readings and guest voices by Abi Pollokoff, Katelyn Oppegard, Woogee Bae.
About the Poems:
O’s (they/them or she/her) story comes out of a network. Their smallest start branches out of a series in The Lyme Letters that sort through nonbinary, queer, crip, and femme experiences in Biblical master narratives across Judeo-Christian texts. First and foremost, then, this start comes out of the unnamed, “marked ungrievable” spouse of the prophet Ezekiel, who inspired the character O.
The Poetry Vlog (TPV) is a teaching YouTube and Podcast series dedicated to building social justice coalitions through arts and scholarship dialogues. It is currently in its 4th Season. It remains a free, open access resource through support by The Simpson Center for the Humanities Mellon Foundation Public Scholarship fellowship program, Jack Straw Cultural Center, and community contributions.
A peer-reviewed Critical Edition is forthcoming from University of Michigan Press, Fulcrum.
The Poetry Vlog (TPV)