Broadway for Paul by Vincent Katz – Review

Greg Masters

Broadway for Paul by Vincent Katz Knopf $27 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. The voice is conversational, as if the poet and reader were seated at an outdoor café sharing a pot of good coffee sheltered for the moment from the rush of activity and liberated from destination. I felt charged tuning into the, at times, seemingly spontaneous improvisation, the poet boldly applying pen to paper as his thought stream issues forth, one observance noted down which then spawns a reflection, the thought allowed to move where it may as quick as a sax solo; for instance, catching the delight in a woman smiling at a baby on the subway. The observations are coralled into form, the passion of the personal journalism contained in the poems' elegant structure. T...
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Beat Scrapbook by Gerald Nicosia – Review

Jim Feast

Gerald Nicosia, Beat Scrapbook (Brooklyn: Coolgrove Press, 2020) 113 pages, $19.95 Gerald Nicosia has dedicated all his nonfiction books to describing those who, through whatever means, fought for the underdogs. His biography of Kerouac, the finest we have, Memory Babe, describes how the Beat author, himself from the lower class, in all his writings showed his sympathy for the downtrodden, whether it be city hustlers, Mexican street walkers or those who rode the boxcars with him as he traveled the country. In fact, one of the most developed points in Memory Babe is Nicosia’s bringing out that Kerouac’s greatness as a writer is closely tied to his far-reaching humanity. Then Nicosia turned to the Vietnam vets. In his Home to War, he left indelible portraits of activists, such as Ron Kovic, who denounced the war and the shabby treatment of vets, particularly, in later years, by battling the VA and the government who long denied t...
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