Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Stanley Zumbiel
was transplanted to the American River watershed at the age of four. He
wrote his first poems while serving in the Navy. He taught junior high
and high school for thirty-five years, retiring in 2008. He helped raise
four wonderful children and loves watching his grandchildren encounter
the world. He spent twenty-five years on the board of the Sacramento
Poetry Center where he described himself as a poetry bureaucrat. He
earned his MFA in Writing from
Vermont College of Fine Arts. His first
book, Standing Watch, was published in 2016 by Random Lane Press.
He lives now in sight of the American River in a home he shares with his
wife Lynn where he continues to write.
7 x 9, Perfect Bound
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In A Hat Full of Leaves, Zumbiel has
accomplished what few can; he not only sees the ghosts, specters,
angels, spirits, and moving dust of the past, but he deftly delivers
these apparitions as if we have witnessed them ourselves. "Tightrope
Walker’s" speaker observes, "clouds roil dark with memory," and so does
this inimitable collection. Zumbiel has an ekphrastic eye and births
poetry exuberant with sensory detail, full of late light and fire.
"These moments last," as the speaker observes in "Key to Open Darkness."
Each piece "adds light to the planet’s swirling halo" ("Only Silence and
Music") and artfully offers life’s marvels and losses the shimmering
afterlife they deserve.
Stanley Zumbiel’s new book spreads itself
out through the ethers like a labyrinthine dream theater (it’s no
surprise that Max Jacob, Salvador Dali and Andre Breton find their way
into some of the poems) – inside we walk from stage to stage, room to
adjacent room; many of the poems become windows through which we look
out at the ever-present natural world, or through them to an inner
landscape we may have suspected but did not expect. It might be a
church, a bar, or a cemetery. You might have to become a parrot, a
ghost, or a stone angel but, each time you enter, prepare to discover
something new—a song, a silence, a rustle of wings. Here the dead join
the living, the past reappears, and always you will be accompanying the
poet as he both confronts and welcomes the existential questions.