Friendship, love, and the potential energy of change animate these poems of walking through New York City.
Broadway, the famous artery, both off the grid and definitive of Manhattan as it cuts its way downtown, is a metaphor for Katz's path through these poems: from Lincoln Plaza on the Upper West Side to the African Burial Ground and the courthouses downtown, Katz mines his native city for the deep humanity that undergirds its streets. His title, with its implication that one could give something as large and undefinable as Broadway to a single person, courts an impossibility that generates the possibility of friendship, as well as the largesse Katz wants to find in our civic discourse. In poems such as "Ivanka Skirting" and "This Beautiful Bubble" we encounter his reckoning with a divisive culture that can, he suggests, be healed through our daily acts--through a kind of alert graciousness that also defines his poetry. In this moving collection, we enter Katz's world, both public and private, and experience poetry as a way of seeing that can change hearts and minds.
About the Author
VINCENT KATZ is the author of the poetry collections Southness (2016) and Swimming Home (2015) and of the book of translations, The Complete Elegies of Sextus Propertius (2004), which won a National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association. He is the editor of Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art (2002), and his writing on contemporary art and poetry has appeared in publications such as Apollo, Art in America, ARTnews, The Brooklyn Rail, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. As curator of the "Readings in Contemporary Poetry" series at Dia: Chelsea, Katz also edited the anthology Readings in Contemporary Poetry (Dia Art Foundation, 2017). He lives in New York City.
“A mature and accomplished collection . . . A voice in the grand tradition of New York poetry, from Walt Whitman to Frank O’Hara, engaging in ‘equable’ conversation (Whitman’s term) with the city’s people and places . . . Poetic comradeship is at the heart of one of Katz’s tours-de-force in the collection, ‘Lincoln Plaza,’ where optimism emerges as an essential ingredient for life . . . [Pushes] the reader to often arresting conclusions, encompassing ever-growing human and spatial relationships.” —Paul Vangelisti, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Often matter-of-fact in tone, stripped of rococo embellishment or flowery pretense, these poem-objects by poet, art writer and translator Vincent Katz stand as testimony to keen observance and thoughtful assessment . . . [Katz] denotes the connective tissue we share not only with the seen but the experienced as well.” —Greg Masters, Sensitive Skin
“The poet shows his hometown from many different vantage points—always with a sense of love and subtle astonishment . . . Katz pushes one mood against another and turns abruptly from shadow to light . . . [Broadway for Paul] is like a good conversation, in which you listen with care to the possibilities language affords.” —Neeli Cherkovski, periodicities
“A wedding bouquet is tossed and we can’t see who the recipient is, yet the poems you read here are permissive, grateful, it’s the detail itself exploring, the foot on the edge of the river, the eye too, the man walking, standing, lyric love for manyness, and “suddenly I have x-ray vision, as Rudy said” and Vincent has history, anyone, everyone’s view, and a thirst for justice, public love and blue parks. I love the vibrant cinematic hunger of this book, its urbanity, yours and mine too.” —Eileen Myles
“We need this book. At a time when the world’s cultures seem to be closing up on themselves, Vincent Katz emphasizes the pleasure of sharing spaces, ideas, and art. His vision is generous and panoramic, with an eye toward detail and the abstract compositional beauty of crowds in motion and at rest, his style a combination of classical elegance and casual grace. But what makes these poems especially powerful is their democratic ethic. This is a virtuoso collection—and we’re all part of it.” —Elaine Equi
“Celebrates walking down the streets of Manhattan, keenly aware of what Hart Crane called ‘the veins of eternity flowing through the crowds around us’ . . . all the while maintaining an awareness of the rainbow of people whose suffering and very bones prop us up and sustain our existence, leading the pedestrian to appreciate the sanctity of the ground on which they tread.” —Jim Feast, Rain Taxi
“Remarkable . . . Katz’s wondrous and erratic perspective amuses the reader’s mind . . . One gets the impression that the poet is telling his story as he has lived it, in his own words and in his own way . . . Lucid, succinct, and fluent.” —Rochak Agarwal, Pegasus Literary