- Jazz

Lake George Jazz Festival  

Paul started it and programs it. 

Credit Brooklyn-born jazz impresario Paul Pines—curator for all 33 of those festivals—with maintaining a consistently high level of artistry throughout those years. Former proprietor of Tin Palace, the renowned East Village jazz club he ran from 1970 to ’76, Pines is deeply invested in the music and is blessed with good ears and an open mind... One of the best-kept secrets on the Eastern jazz festival circuit, the Lake George Jazz Festival is a gem worth discovering.
— Bill Milkowski, Downbeat Magazine, 9/26/2016


2016 Schedule 

"Poet of Jazz: Paul Pines in the Lake George Mirror Magazine, 10/15/15

Nippertown 2014:
J. Hunter reviews Jazz @ The Lake Day One
 J . Hunter reviews Jazz @ The Lake Day Two

J. Hunter's interview with Steve Bernstein
Mudd Club Meets Bird Land at This Year’s Lake George Jazz Weekend

The Lake George Mirror 2014:
Manuel Valera At This Years Lake George Jazz Festival
Women Leading Bands at this Year’s Lake George Jazz Festival 

2012 Lake George Jazz Weekend video

- Books

Charlotte Songs

I'm moved by this review of Charlotte Songs, my latest collection from Marsh Hawk Press, in the Portraits in Poetry section of the American Book Review.  Hasanthika Sirisena's piece,  Masked, caught what could so easily be missed by a less insightful reader. 

I’ll admit that when I first picked up Paul Pines’s latest poetry collection I didn’t truly appreciate its subversiveness... It was only when I realized how rare such tributes are that I began to understand the true importance of these spare, elegant poems.
— Hasanthika Sirisena, American Book Review

My gratitude for this.
                                                                                            -- Paul

Fishing On The Pole Star

-- Paul reading from Fishing On The Pole Star at the Gloucester Center for Writers

-- Fishing On The Pole Star review by Dennis Daly in the Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene

Last Call at the Tin Palace

“ Last Call at the Tin Palace, poems that are stories that are jazz that are memories that are everlasting imprints of music on retinas and the truth from the other side of the bar.”

- Bob Holman, Poetry Picks, The Best Books of 2009

The Tin Angel

"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

"Superb... enough terror, suspense, and low-life atmosphere to keep the most jaded hard-boiled enthusiast happy."

- The Washington Post

"I haven't read a grittier mystery in years, or - I suspect - a truer one."

- New York Daily News

“The drug/jazz world of New York’s East Village has seldom been rendered more honestly or graphically than in this fine first mystery.”

- Publishers Weekly

“It’s hard to combine warmth and toughness, but Pines..succeeds.”

- Ms. Magazine

“Superb... enough terror, suspense, and low-life atmosphere to keep the most jaded hard-boiled enthusiast happy.”

- The Washington Post

“I haven’t read a grittier mystery in years, or - I suspect - a truer one.”

- New York Daily News

My Brother’s Madness

“Great writing, no doubt about it.”  

          - Andre Codrescu, NPR

“In this gracefully written memoir, poet and novelist (and practicing psychotherapist) Pines narrates his and his younger brother’s lives through the matrix of his brother’s mental illness. A bright and sensitive child, Claude Pines was damaged by his parents’ divorce, an unstable mother and relentless persecution at the hands of his father’s monstrous second wife. The story alternates between scenes from the Pines brothers’ childhood and Claude’s descent into paranoid schizophrenia, an illness that began to assert itself when Claude was a promising medical student and which inexorably drove him into a marginal life. The author deftly handles the complex structure, and the writing compels with rich characters, black humor and clear evocations of locales ranging from an upper-class Brooklyn neighborhood in the 1950s to the drug-blighted Alphabet City of Manhattan’s Lower East Side of the 1960s. Paul Pines resists making easy diagnoses and illustrates the complicated relationship between environmental and hereditary causes for a disease like Claude’s. While the narrative loses some of its intensity over its last third as Claude slowly remakes himself as spokesperson for his fellow sufferers and Paul settles into a solid middle-class life, it remains engaging throughout. Never descending into easy sentimentality, Pines portrays the family tragedy of mental illness and the bare possibility of redemption we have in this life. (Oct.) ”

- Publisher's Weekly

My Brother’s Madness is part thriller, part an exploration that not only describes the causes, character, and journey of mental illness, but also makes sense of it. It is ultimately the story of our own humanity.”

 -Kirkus Review

“Take what pain, hope and sorrow, and maddness there is in this world, pass it through an alembic of an educated sensibility and a deep, nformed compassion, and you might be lucky enough to reach “My Brother’s Madness.”

 - James Hollis, Jungian Analyst, and author of Why People Do Bad Things

“Few books nourish the psyche and stir the heart as much as My Brother’s Madness.”

- David Unger, Life in the Damn Tropics


“…instantaneous travel along our internal galaxies”  

       American Book Review 

Adrift on Blinding Light 

Adrift On A Blinding Light is full of exquisite moments... that have been mined by the wuthor like gems and preented to us with the sense of wonder they engender and preserve.

- Lenn Bellavance, The Cool Review

This wonderfully unpredictable, intuitive book navigates the conscious and sunconscious worlds with fluid, imaginative and fascinating energy.

- William Kelly, Multicultural Review

New Orleans Variations & Paris Ouroboros

-- Named Best Book of Poetry in 2013 at The Adirondack Center for Writing
Paul had the honor to receive the award for the Best Book of Poetry in 2013 from The Adirondack Center for Writing at their annual ceremony at Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake.  He would like to thank all those involved.

-- Eileen Tabios' strong review in Galatea Resurrects #21 (A Poetry Engagement)

"...This where Paul Pines excels. He sends the reader out on a “raft of snakes” into the terra incongnita, pushing the voyager to cross boundaries and seek new horizons, and then he shows the common rubble everyone must contend with, and brings it all back home, into the present, making Divine Madness something that anyone can aspire to be touched by."  

- Dennis Daly, Boston Area Small Press & Poetry Scene  3/6/14

 “carefully wrought, thoughtful poems in this book…achieve their elegance in the small details that tell us big things." 

-Burt Kimmelman, Golden Handcuffs Review #18

Divine Madness

-- Justin Moore, on his blog of 3/4/14. Very penetrating and precise. What a gift.

 --  Norman Finkelstein, Jacket 2, 10/16/13.  Poets dream of finding such a reader and especially late in one’s career it is a great gift.

-- Fred Muratori, Notre Dame Review. One of the most insightful treatments a poet could hope for.

-- A gift from Naftali Rottenstreich, Big Bridge #17.

"Pines goes right to the radical nature of metaphor in poetry, not ornament but sudden discernment: sharp observation of historical events and natural things leads directly, deeply, to moral awareness. His lines seem to question the assertions they embody: interrogate by interruption. He is the quiet sage who makes everything in his room a tender plaything. Try the poem on Audubon and see a masterful riff on how to watch with the heart."

- Robert Kelly

"With extraordinary daring and inspiration, Paul Pines has dedicated the art he has exquisitely crafted for a lifetime to the service of the divine madness that has always distinguished poetry from mere writing. In relentless pursuit of the unity we instinctively crave, he captures the universal analogy anew by connecting us to the consciousness of the gods in men through dazzling poem after poem in this stunning book."

- George Economou

"The only other person I can compare this to is Goethe ... powerful stuff! "

- Paul Elisha, NPR-WAMC

Reflections In A Smoking Mirror

“The Quiche Maya, native to Guatemala and Belize, tell us that Gucumatz unfolded blue-green wings over the smoking mirror of primal water to bring forth humans who would honor the gods, but also reflect them. The dialogue among mortals, gods and the ancestors involved raising the Vision Serpent from the smoke of burning blood-soaked bark—a metaphor for consciousness that gives new meaning to the phrase “it’s all smoke and mirrors.” What is called forth speaks with a foundational voice from depths that are inaccessible by ordinary means.” In Reflections in a Smoking Mirror, Paul Pines writes of his search: “for what might be reflected in the Smoking Mirror, both as volcanic lake, and metaphor. … I’ve come to understand what I may have done beyond my intention, to let let the ancestors speak in ways that have not always been apparent to me, except for the blood-smoke on these pages.”

- Maurice Kenny

"Infused with an eerily adept understanding of Latin American history and culture dating from the 15th century to modern times, their collective duende, Reflections in a Smoking Mirror: Poems of Mexico & Belize, will come to stand as a monumental work and as a companion piece to the epic Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. This collection of poems takes on the true power of myth. "

-Wayne Atherton

"Reflections in a Smoking Mirror tells the story of the fall of an ancient, vibrant civilization to Spain s conquistadors under Cortez. Pines language is intelligent and refreshing, his ideas provocative, his images striking, and his narrative however tragic dramatically thrilling. This book is a smoking mirror. "

-Maurice Kenny

"These poems seem to be captured out of the mythic ether. They are like a grand illusion in a mirror we cannot stop ourselves from looking into, because the vision in Paul Pines poetry is the smoky reflection of our own spirits. These poems masterfully written with economical precision testify not only to the power of myth as life s eternal narrative, but the way that narrative is ever-present in the synchronicities and intersections of our daily lives."

- Edgar Gabriel Silex

Message From The Memoirist

Here is an illuminating and insightful review by Dennis Daly of Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene.

"Some thoughts on Message From The Memoirist: It is rare to find a poet so attuned to silence, that time—and space—between words, which for Paul Pines is “the abyss / of mind-before-thought.” His practice is to listen for patterns in the silence, which turn to whispers and then into these wise poems."

- Michael Coffey

"If the origin of consciousness is a wound, would it not be logical that someone looking back might observe that life has been mostly sadness with moments of joy?  What to do with such a conclusion? Perhaps there’d be time to lighten the darkness by forging the “ability to contain the tears in things.” Paul Pines does just this in Message From The Memoirist. The “Memoirist” as defined by Pines “understands that Memory is not a bin where pieces are stored and retrieved but a field in which the Soul’s narrative continues to unfold.”  Poems—such as the ones in this book—are resonant effects of a Soul’s unfolding."

- Eileen Tabios

"In this remarkable new collection, Paul Pines continues to map the profound confusions and marvels of modern existence. From the quantum to the cosmological, nothing is beyond Pines’ incisive gaze. Whether contemplating the quotidian or the miraculous, Pines’ lines are at once lyrical and precise. Accompanied by the masterful pen-and-ink and collage-work of artist Marc Shanker, Message From The Memoirist is a delight for the mind, ear, and eye."

- Eric Hoffman

"It is rare to find a poet so attuned to silence, that time—and space—between words, which for Paul Pines is 'the abyss / of mind-before-thought.' His practice is to listen for patterns in the silence, which turn to whispers and then into these wise poems.”

- Michael Coffey

Fishing on the Pole Star

"Tracking the Bahamas out-islands Pines reads for signs of what lies beyond sight. Sea-farer, ethicist, psychotherapist, metaphysician, he sees the implicate order in all things as “an alphabet/of birds spells out/his name/on the visible surface/of an invisible/world.” 

- L.S. Asekoff

"The sea’s endlessness, its glittery surfaces, the often scruffy island life of the Bahamas are wonderfully recorded in Paul Pine’s Fishing On The Pole Star.  Bright-scaled marlin populate the text, as do Wayne Atherton’s mysteriously beautiful collages.  The vision is spacious and colorful, awe-filled and deep dwelling."

- Michael Heller

"Fishing on the Pole Star is full of wonder, for Pines knows that fishing correlates with the Arthurian Graal-search, the poet’s hunt for the poem, the deep sea-voyage to heal the wounded soul. This collection places him in the tradition of Hektorović, Walton, Melville, Hemingway, and Hughes."

- Richard Berengarten

"This fishing world is not my territory, so all the more honor and glory that I was hooked and didn’t want to make my escape. In fact I wanted to be eaten and recycled and renewed, as of old in some sacrificial ceremony." 

- Anthony Rudolf

Hotel Madden Poems

Hotel Madden is a fine and powerful book.”

- William Bronk

“Paul Pines’ dedication to Hotel Madden Poems describes the book as a “fugue.” That’s exactly what this brilliant and compelling work is..."

-  Fred Muratori, The American Book Review

- Interviews

-- Paul Pines converses with Jon Curley over at The Conversant!  May 1, 2014

Coming of age in the ’50s and ’60s on the Lower East Side of New York, I found poets everywhere. One couldn’t walk down the street without running into them. The ghost of Black Mountain haunted Max’s Kansas City, where I sat at the bar between Fee Dawson and Donald Phelps. I listened to jazz with Paul Blackburn, who also introduced me to Octavio Paz when the Mexican poet and his wife gave a talk in Paul’s apartment above McSorley’s. Paul warned me against the siren song of translation—not to get caught in it as he had. But I read his The Journals as they appeared, and learned to view poetry that way, to read the landscape as an oracle.
— Paul Pines, The Conversant