The Lyme Letters, O–(ezekiel's wife),
Poetry as Public Scholarship: Activist Poetics in a Time of Social Media

The Lyme Letters by C. R. Grimmer Queer
Winner of the Walt McDonald First Book Award from Texas Tech University Press

Advance Praise: 

"....Endlessly inventive, playful and witty, The Lyme Letters refuses the dour face of Lyme, CT
tragedy for a woody comic spirit: “that shameless pink bird, never/ nude & formed to whatever/
in my grasping pink hands/ until i laughed and laughed and laughed/ and couldn’t even swing.” – Dr. Tyrone Williams, author of Adventures of Pi

"An extraordinary collection of poems dedicated to the hard work of healing, and the impact of being surrounded by a caring community. In the end, help from others is to help ourselves for "a story about where to put / my brain & feel my body speak into it." The poet C. R. Grimmer fills our every thought after reading, adjusting us to a larger lens on the world." – CA Conrad, author of The Book of Frank

Print & Audio Collection Published by GASHER Press

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, as well as guest voices by Abi Pollokoff, Katelyn Oppegard, Woogee Bae. Audio Edition available 02/29/2020.

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.

O–(ezekiel's wife):
AudioBook Edition

Audio recordings of these poems, read by the author C.R. Grimmer, are accompanied by digital soundscapes by sound artist Judy Twedt. The auditory tapestries, inspired by each poem, use recorded, synthesized, and algorithmically generated sounds -- both recognizable and not --  interwoven to evoke image, place, and movement. The sounds play with the spoken word, at times with mimicry and reflection, at times with repetition or cacophony, in contestation of she/they who was/is unnamed.

The album art is from the hand painted series within the physical chapbook. It is called "Hewn Fruit" and is by by Colleen Burner.

O & Poetry as Public Scholarship: Activist Poetics in a Time of Social Media

The Lyme Letters is the prequel to the full-length collection, O, which builds on selections from O–(ezekiel's wife) by continuing O's story. This manuscript is scheduled for completion through a Vermont Studio Center Residency.

C. R.'s current scholarly book, Poetry as Public Scholarship: Activist Poetics in the Time of Social Media, uses mixed-method research analysis and practitioner perspectives in text, audio, and video form to examine the relationships between racial capitalism, popularized poetry, digital humanities' social engagement, and public scholarship methods. 30% is published in article form, which can be found on this site's publications page.
For inquiries on C. R.'s past or present work, or for press and interview queries, please email c grimmer @ uw . edu.