Paul Pines grew up in Brooklyn near Ebbet's Field and passed the early 1960s on the Lower East Side of New York. He shipped out as a Merchant Seaman, spending August 1965 to February 1966 in Vietnam. In 1973, he opened the Tin Palace, a jazz club on the corner of 2nd Street and Bowery-which provided the setting for his novel, The Tin Angel (W. Morrow, 1983).
Pine's travels in Mexico and Central America in the 1980s shaped his second novel, Redemption (Editions du Rocher, 1997), around the Guatemalan Mayan genocide. His memoir, My Brother’s Madness, (Curbstone Press, 2007; Adirondack Center for Writing Award, best memoir) explores the unfolding of intertwined lives and the nature of delusion. Pines has published one chapbook and twelve poetry collections: Onion (Mulch, 1971), Hotel Madden Poems (Contact II, 1991, Pushcart nominee), Pines Songs (IKON chapbook, 1993, Pushcart nominee), Breath (IKON, 1996), Adrift on Blinding Light (IKON 2003), Taxidancing (IKON, 2007), Last Call at the Tin Palace (Marsh Hawk, 2009), Reflections in a Smoking Mirror (Dos Madres Press; ACW Award for poetry, 2011), Divine Madness (Marsh Hawk, 2012) , New Orleans Variations & Paris Ouroboros (Dos Madres, ACW Award for poetry, 2013), Fishing on the Pole Star (Dos Madres, ACW Award for poetry, 2014) , Message From The Memoirist (Dos Madres, 2015), and most recently Charlotte Songs (Marsh Hawk, 2015).
His essays have appeared in journals such as The Golden Handcuffs Review, Numero Cinq and Exquisite Corpse, and anthologized in The Body of This Life: Reading William Bronk (Talisman, 2001) and Why We’re Here, (Colgate University Press, 2010). He is the editor of both Dark Times Full of Light, the Juan Gelman tribute issue of The Cafe Review (summer, 2009), and Dark Times Full of Light, The Selected Poetry of Juan Gelman by Open Letters Press. His essays have appeared in journals such as The Golden Handcuffs Review, The Notre Dame Review, Numero Cinq, Big Bridge, First Intensity and Exquisite Corpse, and anthologized in The Body of This Life: Reading William Bronk (Talisman, 2001), William Bronk in the 21st Century (Talisman, 2013) and Why We’re Here, (Colgate University Press, 2010). Among his work as a translator he has contributed to Small Hours of the Night, Selected Poems of Roque Dalton, (Curbstone, 1996); Pyramids of Glass, (Corona 95); Nicanor Parra, Antipoems: New and Selected, (New Directions,1986).
Pines’ poetry has been set by composer Daniel Asia on five CD’s, Songs From The Page of Swords, Pines Songs I & II, Breath In A Ram’s Horn and, Purer Than Purest Pure (BBC Singers) on the Summit label. Asia’s 5th Symphony, premiered by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, 2008, and recorded by the Pilsen Symphony Orchestra as Of Songs & Psalms, 2011, features poems by Pines and Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai. Asia also scored Pines’ libretto for The Tin Angel Opera.
Pines has conducted workshops for the National Writers Voice program and lectured for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Ossabaw Foundation, and Virginia Center, as well as a recipient of an Artists' Fellowship, N.Y.S. Foundation for the Arts, 1984 and a CAPS Fellow, Poetry, 1976. He is a member of PEN, BMI, C.G., Jung Foundation, and The Author’s Guild. Paul Pines taught literature and creative writing at SUNY Adirondack until 2007, when he retired to practice as a Jungian oriented psychotherapist in private practice. His daughter is Brooklyn actress, Charlotte Pines. Pines lives with his wife, Carol, in Glens Falls, NY, where he hosts The Lake George Jazz Weekend now celebrating its 32nd year.
Praise for his work includes: The Tin Angel, “Superb” (The Washington Post) “This swift tale of murder and revenge rattled along stylishly and fulfills all our expectations for high-grade suspense”, (The New York Times Book Review); My Brother’s Madness, “great writing, no doubt about it” (NPR commentator Andre Codrescu), “It is ultimately a story of our own humanity,” (Kirkus Review), “My Brother’s Madness emerges as a triumph in behavioral science literature, (Journal of the American Psychiatric Association) ; Hotel Madden Poems, “brilliant and compelling…” (American Book Review); Breath, “…instantaneous travel along our internal galaxies” (American Book Review); and, Adrift on Blinding Light “[that] navigates the conscious and subconscious worlds with fluid, imaginative, and fascinating energy” (Multicultural Review).
Pines directed a staged reading of Veteran's Voices: Ajax in America for an upstate New York veteran's group, Veteran's Voices. This group of armed force vets, interested in how ancient literature elucidates the trauma of warfare, performed excerpts from Sophocles' quintessential war tragedy, Ajax, at Skidmore College in November 2015.
Lectures, Panels & Workshops
Opening lecturer in the SUNY Adirondack series sponsored by the Herman Maril Foundation, the William Bronk-Sheldon Hurst Lecture Series: The Poetic Imagination & The Submerged Center Getting to Know the Knower, September 2014; The Aztec/Maya In and Through Time, Barto Lecturer at Fulton Montgomery Community College, 2012; High Culture, Poetic Imagination & The Submerged Center, Center for American Culture & Ideas, University of Arizona, 2014, paper in a forthcoming book from Cambridge Scholars Publishing; The Institute for Community Research and Training Blog, The College of Saint Rose, New York: Recommended Reading "My Brother's Madness: A Memoir Written By Paul Pines"; College of St. Rose & SUNY Albany, Madness as Mystery; What the Pattern Reveals, October 2010; St. Lawrence University, Young Writers Conference, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005; International Latin American Poetry Festival, El Salvador, 2005; Temple University, Homenaje al Neruda, (lecture), 2005; 4th Tucson Poetry Festival, 2004; reading, University of Arizona, 2003; reading, Merkin Hall Concert, 2003; University of Nebraska, reading The Unseen Order: Soma & Psyche, 2003; Writer’s Voice at Silver Bay, 1991, 1992, 1901; Pen-In-Hand Writers Conference, featured poet, 1995-99; Guadalajara International Book Fair, panel on Chicano/American Writers, 1998; Franklin-Clinton-Essex Library System, Mystery in the Adirondacks, New York State Council on the Arts, 1990 -2002; Translation Prize, The Latin American Writers Institute, judge, 1991; Raybrook Federal Prison, workshop funded by NAACP, 1988-89; Conference on the Humanities, Mystery Beyond Genre, University of Nebraska, 1986; Festival of Arts & Letters, East Stroudsburg State College, Principles of Contemporary Poetry 1985; Writer-in-Residence Fellowship, Crandall Library, New York Foundation for the Arts, 1984.
Awards, Fellowships & Professional Organizations
Paul has conducted workshops for the National Writers Voice program and lectured for the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was honored by the Friends of the Albany Public Library, November 2014 and is the recipient of the Adirondack Center for Writing Award for: Fishing on the Pole Star, Best Book of Poetry in 2014; New Orleans Variations & Paris Ouroboros , Best Book of Poetry in 2013; Reflections in a Smoking Mirror, Best Book of Poetry in 2012; My Brother's Madness, Best Memoir 2007 and the Best Poetry Book of an Artists' Fellowship, New York State Foundation for the Arts, 1984. His fellowships include CAPS Fellow, Poetry, 1976 and numerous fellowships to The MacDowell Colony, Ossabaw Foundation, Virginia Center. He is a member of PEN, BMI, The Authors Guild, and the C.G. Jung Foundation.
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