Tuesday, February 3, 2009

#141 The Great Abundance That Is Steve Katz

Steve Katz was born in the Bronx in 1935 and grew up in Washington Heights. It was a classic NYC childhood—playing ball, chewing Double Bubble, and hanging out in the park. When he was 9, Steve says that he took his sled to the park across the street and noticed everybody looking up into the sky at a bright lozenge of light. He says that he became transfixed by it too and was transported up into that lozenge of light. He says that that 9-year-old boy is still up there in the light (quite content that he never grew old) and that the Steve Katz who is talking to me is the alias Steve Katz, who has written some books and screenplays. After that, Steve attended Cornell University where he met his wife who was beautiful, the rodeo queen of Winnemucca, and a great sculptor. In 1957, he worked for the forestry service as a lookout with his wife, the result of which was their first child. They lived in Italy in the late 50’s and early 60’s with their 3 sons until Steve felt like he was losing his language. (Language is an imperfect medium for representing whatever you think of as reality.) The family moved back to the US and Steve took a teaching job at Cornell. They were married 14 years and Steve’s girlfriend, after the separation helped with the divorce papers. Steve never liked going to school, but taught creative writing and literature at a number of universities until he retired from the University of Colorado in 2003. What else? One great thing he was happy he did was buy a place in Cape Breton in 1971, which was gorgeous and peaceful; he lived there in a tee-pee for many years until he built a cabin in 1988. Also, Steve says that your body gets ridiculous as you get older, but its self-destruction puts you closer to your spirit. Further, Steve was one of the founders of Fiction Collective. And the books? Steve has written and published continuously since the self-published novella, THE LESTRIAD in 1962—including THE EXAGGGERATIONS OF PETER PRINCE (3 g's intentional), SAW, WIER & POUCE, SWANNY’S WAYS, ANTONELLO’S LION, and KISSSSSS: A MISCELLANY. The critic, Jerome Klinkowitz, says he “…pushed innovation farther than any of his contemporaries.” Steve currently lives in Denver, Colorado, where he is working on his MEMOIRRHOIDS (pain in the ass memories), of which there will be 137 (which physicists call god’s number, the fine structure constant, as it appears in all transactions between matter and light), which includes an unresolved decimal.

More Steve Katz

[Note: This postcard life story is part of a series of postcard life stories that will appear in Keyhole #6 (guest edited by William Walsh), where all the contributor bios will be postcard life stories--the idea being to make every possible aspect of the magazine literature.]


Anonymous said...

He's a wicked talent, to be sure.

Anonymous said...

Completely awesome. And all hail Winnemucca! zo