Unlocking the Exits

Poetry by Eliot Katz

February 1, 1999 • 6 x 9 • 176 pages • 978-1-56689-079-3

Eliot Katz’s poems are exuberant democratic earth-watch, spiced with surreal imaginings, utopian cravings, and activist humor.

In his new collection of poems, Eliot Katz dances with tenacity on the fine line between poetry and politics—engaging in a democratic earthwatch that is spiced with surreal imaginings, utopian cravings, personal discovery, and spirited humor. Employing elements of modernist experimentation, the book’s longest piece, “Liberation Recalled,” includes testimony of his mother’s WWII concentrations camp experiences interspersed with his own stylistically-varied verses on contemporary social themes. Katz inventively explores questions of historical and intergenerational legacy, psychic reconstruction, and the challenge of building a more humane future.


“Another classic New Jersey bard! E. Katz has created his own original poetics for personal observation, animated discourse, critical insight, fantasy, and communal vision. His verses bespeak the colloquial heart of world tragedy and hope from his haunts, New Brunswick, U.S.A.” —Allen Ginsberg

“Eliot Katz has been for years an exuberant heir of Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, and Allen Ginsberg. He’s been oracular, comic, furiously compassionate, explosively and winsomely political, madly inventive, acutely vernacular. To read or hear him is to become energized by his contagious humanity. And now Eliot Katz has become a major poet of witness.” —Alicia Ostriker