I love Ray’s poetry

Fred Turner, Founders Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas and former editor of The Kenyon Review

I read a number of Ray Hinman’s poems pre-publication and was captivated by them. He sees the world with a true poet’s eyes. He made me see places I’ve never been, right down to the small details. While the poems are masterfully written, their edgy realism keeps them from coming across as either formal or fanciful.

Ray’s voice deserves to be heard. It is my hope that he will continue to write and share his perspective with the world.

Mary R, Texas

I like to read things that transport me to other times and places, and Our Cities Vanish is no exception. Each poem took me someplace and made me think about its subjects. With a wealth of historical, literary, geographic, and religious references, you will find your mind wandering down the same paths that Ray Hinman must have walked to be inspired to lay such words down on paper. I doubt you will read this book just once, rather I can imagine an old, dogeared, copy that has been returned to again and again.

Mike Welsh

Hinman’s poetry conveys a power of insight, an excellent craftsmanship and an unabashed innate sense of the majestic nature of words that has been totally lost in modern poetry. Hinman is clearly well schooled the classical tradition, the French symbolist, Keats, Yates, Elliot, Stevens. He writes like those men did. Yet he knows how to translate this acuity into contemporary conversational sense.

His poetry is tactile. It is grounded in textual. In “The Ex Missionary Learns Mexico” one feels as though one is in the desert. We can feel the leaves of the plants, the heat and grit of the sand. In “Hobos from Tacoma” one can feel the dirt in between the nails.

His vision of the connection between words and the senses and some transcendent overarching truth they reflect is almost reminiscent of the platonic theory of knowledge. Yet his outlook is modern and his sensual oriented poetic style is minimalist. One can also detect a hint of Gary Snyder lurking in his affinity for folk religions of Mexico and the eastern insights that permeate all of his poetry and the universal nature of “sacred name.”

Hinman is a powerful and insightful poet. His poetic talent is great and we should look for forward to much more brilliance from Ray Hinman.


Our Cities Vanish by Ray Hinman

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Ray Hinman’s poems are vibrant with the tension between light and darkness, life and death, and they are a cycle of rebirth in which corpses can blossom again. It is a world built through conversations with the dead, with the voices of the literary past, allusions to the things that have come before and constructed with a clear, conscious sense that poetry is a Craft.

(I) tilled them until I
could brandish that blade
and hack open miles of boxes.
And each box contained
little husbands, dolls,
puppets, and a wooden mask;
each haunting me,
each chattering,
finally they sang in unison…

These poems understand the value of things like aesthetics, culture and meaning. Ray Hinman understands the poet as the modern descendent of the Shaman, treading the boundary between what is forbidden and what is allowed to guide us beyond the things that distract us and drown the spirit to the transcendent and the sublime.

Know it

Our Cities Vanish
by Ray Hinman
ISBN: 978-0-9824087-0-4
Keywords: Ray Hinman, Dallas, Poetry, Gary Snyder, Shaman, Poetic Shaman, Culture and Meaning

BISAC Category: Fiction / Urban Life