Poet, Zen priest, trucker, farm hand, husband, father… like all of us, Jim Spencer is many things at once. Each of these things with which we define ourselves are influenced by the other aspects of who we think we are at any given moment. So, when Jim is wearing his Zen priest hat, the cumulative experiences of poet, farm hand, trucker, et cetera, drive how he responds to the phenomenal universe as a Zen priest.
Jim Spencer’s poetry is influenced by his experiences as a Zen priest, a trucker, a farm hand, a husband and a father. These experiences are expressed in the short forms of haiku, senryu and tanka that represent a particular slice of time. His first collection of short form poetry, Tire Chains & Longing, shows all of these influences, but is mainly about his experiences as a cross-country trucker. Published by Clare Songbirds Publishing, Tire Chains & Longing can be found here (scroll down the page a bit to find it).
There is a recommended way to read Tire Chains & Longing. Read one poem and put the book down for a long while. Create your own image of the moment being expressed by the poem. Dig deeper than the surface level. Explore how the poems make you feel. These short form poems are minimalist in nature in order to allow you to use your imagination, to paint the scene described, in your own mind. It becomes yours, influenced by the aggregate of all the things that you are in any given moment.
Central New York, specifically the amazingly beautiful Finger Lakes area, is where Jim currently calls home. He is available for readings and book signings. Please use the contact page to contact him for such events. He would also love to hear about your thoughts and experiences after reading his work.
You can follow Jim Spencer Poetry on both Instagram and Twitter under the username jimspencerpoetry.