Quercus Review Press

publishing poetry with a pulse since 2000

Bright Exit by Laurie Zimmerman


“Honesty will never go out of fashion in poetry, especially as it is channeled through the clean lyrics of Laurie Zimmerman’s Bright Exit. These poems are so searching; they press against the veil of appearances, demanding to learn the truth of what’s really there –tender hearted, and sensuous, sure, but equally smart and tough-minded, repeatedly, impressively refusing easy sentimentality. It’s that rigor of honesty that makes these poems the rich, reliable tutorial in soul-making that they are. I relish them.”

—TONY HOAGLAND, author of Unincorporated Personas in the Late Honda Dynasty

“Toward the end of Mann’s “Tonio Kroeger,” the artist declares that for him nothing is “sweeter and more worth knowing than longing after the bliss of the commonplace.” Laurie Zimmerman’s poems are grounded in that same sense. She has a great eye for detail (a bird has “tiny noduled feet,” mussels have “blue doors, thin wings opening and closing”) and a great heart for the larger events of human life: “Celebration Fragments” is one of a group of poems about coming through breast cancer that are heart-breaking, celebratory and true. The tone is always modest, but poem after surprising poem is the work of a wise and humane new writer.”

—ED OCHESTER, Editor, Pitt Poetry Series & author of Sugar Run Road

“Laurie Zimmerman’s collection Bright Exit is a study in loss—loss of names, loss of identity, loss of relationships, loss of footing in the world: “Someone is saying goodbye. Someone/is saying I’m dying and hello.” But these losses do not drown the poet or the reader. Instead Zimmerman’s poetry provides a tender and sure kind of lift out of what could be despair. Her words move the reader toward an understanding that even such a collection of losses can lead us toward a new sense of self and the world around us all, and even as the last poem in this wonderful collection ends, and “the poem folds its wings/but another happiness/flies up,” readers get to fly with it, buoyed by all of these fine poems.”

—GILLIAN WEGENER, author of The Opposite of Clairvoyance


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This entry was posted on May 23, 2014 by .
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