Sunday, March 15, 2009

Love, War, Fire, Wind: the book launch party videos

Below are some highlights from the book launch party for "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" (Eliot Katz, poetry & prose, William T. Ayton, artwork) at the Bowery Poetry Club on March 11th, 2009. For more videos, please see the Narcissus Press YouTube channel.

Above: Eliot Katz reads his poem "Bail Out What?" (see posting below for the text of the poem & the new illustration)

Above: Eliot Katz reads "Thinking About Emptiness from North America's Skull."

Above: Alicia Ostriker reads her back cover blurb.

Above: Diana Ayton-Shenker reads "Scars", a new poem.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Book Launch Party / Bail Out What?

[Note: we shall be posting video clips of the book launch event soon. Please come back to check them out.]

The drawing on the left is an image that was shown to accompany the book launch party at the Bowery Poetry Club the other night for "Love, War, Fire Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" with poems (& prose) by Eliot Katz & art by William T. Ayton. The drawing is not actually in the book, but was created especially for the reading by Ayton. It may find its way into the forthcoming Narcissus Volume I literary review...

The launch was a big success with around 60 or so people in the confines of the Bowery Poetry Club. There were special guests — longtime Katz collaborator & friend Danny Shot did a terrific job of emceeing, Alicia Ostriker read a poem & also read out her great blurb from the back cover of the book. Diana Ayton-Shenker introduced Narcissus Press & read a new poem, "Scars". Bassist Russell Branca accompanied Katz's reading on his double bass. There was a video put together by Vivian Demuth showing the Candadian Rockies locale which helped to serve as inspiration for many of the poems (North America's Skull refers to Nose Mountain & environs in that area). Andy Clausen was there, Bangladeshi poet Taslima Nasreen dropped by, as did Brooklyn poet Steve Bloom, and writer Mickey Z, Danny Schechter was there, and here's a mention from his blog (near the foot of the page)...

There were many people there & apologies if you're not mentioned here...

Here is the poem that the above image was projected with:

Bail Out What?

As the U.S.-built trojan-horse mortgage-backed insecurities
crisis continues to hop aboard freight elevators moving
continually downwards; as the Wall Street bull let loose from its
iron base continues to rampage through the trickle-down
bloody back streets of overworked America; as a discredited
treasury department of a disgraced presidency attempts to tickle
nation’s plastic-card wallets by yet one more midnight
pour-oil-down-the-bank-chimney approach; as Congress shrugs
its confused shoulders and nods in sleepy assent, with Democrats
making sure recruit enough Republican votes to share blame
for a firecracker bill they all knew in advance was a dud; as nervous
homeowners and shopkeepers wait by silent phones for a sign
from heaven that manna-tasting loans and credit cards are
raining from the skies in infinite variety of shapes and sizes;
as the four corners of the decade’s deregulated pyramid
scheme prove no match for international capital’s globalized
wrecking ball; why should it surprise that a chef’s knife can’t carve
edible food out of a stack of blowing thousand-dollar bills?

With all major commentators warning about the need to halt
the next Great Depression, where’s the proposal for a new
New Deal? Why not Dems voting for bills they are proud
to pass alone, and then watch Bush sign because embarrassed
there is no other rational or irrational choice? Why not put world’s
heaviest military budget on a strict low-carb diet? Why not new
olive-green bridge-building projects paying a guaranteed living wage?
Why not freeze foreclosures and send $10,000 checks to every
struggling renter and homeless family worried about opening
their next medical bill? Why not rip all medical bills and create
a single-payer health security system? Send every high school
graduate to college as long as they can learn to mapquest
their way there! Build the next generation of pyramids with clear
publicly accountable front windows! There are so many jobs waiting
for those who can help build a solar energy cell or write a song
to heal a deeply troubled nation. Let’s tickle the bottom of
the economy’s feet and watch the electricity rise upward.

Eliot Katz — October 2008

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ginsberg Project Blog

A very nice mention on the Ginsberg Project Blog for "Love, War, Fire, Wind", plus several other items of interest (Ginsberg, Patti Smith, Eric Drooker's "Howl" movie, etc.). Many thanks to Peter Hale for putting it together. Here's the link:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Flyer for "Love, War, Fire, Wind" Launch Party

Please click here for the PDF flyer for the "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" book launch party at the Bowery Poetry Club (see blog posting below this one) on March 11th at 6pm.

Present at the book launch will be Eliot Katz (poet), William T. Ayton (artist) as well as Russel Branca, who will accompany Katz by playing bass, and special guest poets Alicia Ostriker, Danny Shot & Diana Ayton-Shenker. See the flyer for all the details.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Book Launch Party for "Love, War, Fire, Wind"

The official book launch party for "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" (by Eliot Katz & William T. Ayton) will be on Wednesday, March 11th at 6pm, at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC.

Bowery Poetry Club:

308 Bowery
(Between Houston and Bleecker)
F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker

There is a $6 cover charge.

More details when available...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love, War, Fire, Wind: available on BN & Amazon...

The distribution of the ISBN, etc., has just about gone through for "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" by Eliot Katz & William T. Ayton. Here are the links:

On Barnes & Nobleclick here
On Amazon.comclick here

(updated Feb 18th, 2009)

Also, the review copies have now all been sent out...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Taslima Nasrin on "The Wake-Up Blast" by Hall Gardner

Hall Gardner's The Wake Up Blast is truly explosive; it ignites the paper it is written on with its poetic opposition to war, military build-up, terrorism and the garbled hype of religious doomsday prophets. It is an important work in its "counter-visionary" depictions of plutonium powered American sub-urbia down to the impoverished slums, favelas and shanty towns of the developed and developing worlds… Should be read by all for the experience of Gardner's "culture shock and awe"…
—Taslima Nasrin

Thanks to Hall for sending that along.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eliot Katz & Hall Gardner together...

Hall Gardner ("The Wake-Up Blast") informs us that he & Eliot Katz ("Love, War, Fire, Wind") are both to have work published in the forthcoming poetry collections, "The Final Crusade" and "Venus Rising", both edited by J. N. Reilly. Congratulations to both of them! More details to follow when available.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Love, War, Fire, Wind" is available now on Lulu...

The Eliot Katz/William T. Ayton collaborative book, "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" is available now from the online printer,

It should be available shortly (next few weeks) from Amazon, etc. We shall post the links to online booksellers where the book can be found. Cover price is $18.00 (184 pages, soft cover).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Drawings from "Love, War, Fire, Wind"

Here are several of the interior illustrations from "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" by Eliot Katz (poetry) & William T. Ayton (artwork). You can also see a preview page of the book here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Love, War, Fire, Wind: the blurbs

Below are the back cover blurbs for "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" (see front cover to the left) by Eliot Katz (poetry) & William T. Ayton (artwork). The first two refer to previous works by Katz, the others are for the new book. Many thanks to the authors of the blurbs. The book itself should be available within a few days.


"Another classic New Jersey bard! E. Katz has created his own original poetics for personal observation, animated discourse, critical insight, fantasy, and communal vision."
—Allen Ginsberg

"Eliot Katz's poems are wonderful in their celebration of life and rhythmic verbal exuberance, set against the atrocities of now."
—Adrienne Rich, about Unlocking the Exits


"I love these poems, which are full of passion and thought. Eliot Katz is among a handful of contemporary American poets whose work speaks to me."
—Howard Zinn

"One of the amazing facts about Eliot Katz as a poet is that you can just never predict what he will do next. His sparkling mind, his acute political savvy, his comedy and his all-embracing warmth are always there. He is going to save the world even if it doesn’t want to be saved. And he is going to enjoy tossing tasty language around while he’s doing it. Eliot is right up there carrying the torch for Whitman and Ginsberg, keeping their vision alive and well. But who knew that he was going to turn into a tender love poet? I've never seen love poems like the ones in here. And who knew that this urban activist was going to transform himself into the companion of a fire-watcher, gazing at the world from a forest peak in the Canadian Rockies? Love, War, Fire, Wind, is his best book yet, a must-read for anyonewho believes poetry can still celebrate life."
—Alicia Ostriker

"Here is one of our greatest poets looking out from North America's skull onto the streets of change and protest, with nonstop insight, orange groves of facts, and wit. Eliot Katz is a poet of clear American progressive poetic consciousness. Love, War, Fire, Wind collects his direct Postbeat social chronicling of the Bush years. Let these poems that veer with surrealistic influence and a masterful grasp of media vernacular be the measure of any government and a gateway for what's to come."
—Jim Cohn

"Eliot Katz, spiritual son of Whitman & Ginsberg, is a poet of hypnotic velocity, of anger that has risen to aria, of a comic (& sometimes elegiac) high seriousness. His is Walt's 'primal sanity' that in this faithful & furious book—Love, War, Fire, Wind—refuses to desert us."
—William Heyen

"William T. Ayton has mastered the art of drawing with ink and brush. Like the words of Eliot Katz, his brush marks the page with deliberate force. A broken eggshell, weapons and dreams, a stroke that can not be taken back. This book is an affirmation of truth."
—Tim Slowinski

Eliot Katz photo by Vivian Demuth

Here is the photo of Eliot Katz by Vivian Demuth that was originally intended to go on the back cover of the forthcoming book, "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" (Narcissus Press, 2009), however, due to the large number of blurbs to go on the back cover, it was relegated to the interior pages at the back of the book, where it can be see in monochrome. Here it is in full color.

BTW, the book he's holding is his collection of poems, "Unlocking the Exits", published by Coffee House Press, 1999.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Eliot Katz reads "Grounding the Nerves"

From the forthcoming Narcissus Press book, "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" (illustrated by William T. Ayton.)

New blog for Narcissus Press

Hello & welcome to the new blog, for the small literary house, Narcissus Press. We currently have 2 (almost 3!) poetry books published — Diana Ayton-Shenker's "Tumbalalaika", Hall Gardner's "The Wake-Up Blast", and the forthcoming "Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America's Skull" with poems by Eliot Katz, & art by William T. Ayton.

Here are the covers:

The fourth image is the cover of our literary review, "Narcissus", which is currently in the early planning stage. More details will be announced when known.