Cate McNider began writing poetry consistently, in response to someone asking her a question, a year after arriving in NYC, 1985. This simple inquiry opened another channel of creativity, in addition to her previous years of formally studying acting and modern dance in London, UK.
Poetry only required a pen and paper....
Escape Velocity presents a chronological collection of poems from 10/2010 to 1/2023, stringing experiences together to form a trajectory and progression of understanding old paradigms and letting go of assumptions, patterns, and ego.
Cate McNider, in her Introduction, reviews her invitation to readers to "enter into the Theater of the Void, to turn on the light within you, to close your two eyes to the illusionary demands of the ‘world’ and encounter the lush and wondrous being-ness that waits within you. It’s never what you think it is, and the discovery of that will lead to moments of those mini-lights being turned on within you."
With this, the stage is set for a ride through not just her life and observations, but those which resonate with the reader.
Take the succinct reflection in the opening poem 'Happiness': "I want to be as soft as you,/as solid and as fluid..." Here, the notion of happiness is also linked to being in the present and acknowledging its brief spate of energy in the wider scheme of things. McNider's ability to capture the passage of time and place in a study that introduces a very different definition of happiness then segues neatly into 'Whale's Song,' a poem of transformative longing and sharing: "If only I could insert my self,/angiogram balloon/inside your arteries, open you,/let the moon’s tide take the pain/way out to sea..."
These examples are but a drop in the literary bucket of psychological, spiritual, and nature observations that provide all types of readers with an art form that blossoms with internal examination and external force.
What is the reason for life, time, and evolutionary processes? How do they bloom in heart and mind to take wing into the greater world of human and nature?
Each poem represents a piece of a journey that, when viewed from the broader perspective of this collection, adds to a marked and meaningful path that is accessible not just to literature or psychology readers, but anyone interested in self-growth and introspection.
Libraries and readers interested in a hard-hitting collection that encourages and gently drives its readers into higher-level thinking, from ego examination to broader connections, will find the poems in Escape Velocity offer an escape hatch leading to better understanding and life meaning.
Lyrically Courageous and Honest *****
"Escape Velocity" challenges us to see ourselves, and the world, through new eyes unlocked by McNider's potent insights. Through daring yet often humorous meditations, McNider examines concepts like vulnerability, love, understanding, and our limitless creative power. The work dares us to take the leap into mystery and meet our authentic selves with newfound clarity. Through introspective examination, McNider peels back the metaphorical barriers to offer more than just beautifully crafted poems, this collection offers a profound work of transformational art.”
Poetic Vulnerability *****
Reviewed in the United States on November 7, 2023
In Escape Velocity, Cate McNider’s poetic vulnerability and honesty has the capacity to ignite the reader's vulnerability, asking the reader to look inwards and see something new and real, something authentic. The poems ask the reader to find deeper insights into the psychological and emotional experiences we share as human beings. The poems are accessible y their simplicity is deceptive, for it is difficult to write simply... Simplicity that is simultaneously filled with thoughtful content is a mark of a good writer, a writer who has spent time working at their craft. I enjoyed the poems in this book on multiple levels, the most important level, for me, was the poems gentle nudges and invitation toward self reflection.
Pure pleasure! *****
Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2023
McNider is an amazing wordsmith and a keen observer. Escape Velocity had me laughing and contemplating; so enjoyable!
In collaboration with McNally Jackson Books, Elizabeth Street Garden has a summer music and poetry series. This theme was ‘myth’.
August 15, 2021
Cate McNider is a multi-disciplinary artist, psychophysical practitioner, Alexander Technique teacher and movement educator registered as The Listening Body®. Since arriving in NYC in 1985, she has expressed her healing journey through poetry, multi-media movement performances and painting. She has performed her multi-media works in downtown venues and Brooklyn, and exhibited her paintings in solo shows in the East Village and NOHO. Poems from her first collection, Separation and Return have been in several journals, in print and online. Escape Velocity is the follow up on the success of her healing practices. Cate still lives in New York.
Reading of Separation and Return at Mulberry St. Library, NYC, 2011
Published Winter 2013,
The End of War
The end of war is like the beginning of war,
cherry trees blossom
then drop their petals,
another is soon to follow,
it takes the breath away.
Photo by Michael Mráz on Unsplash
"In Separation and Return, Cate NcNider's recent book of poetry, the author creates an indelible, in-depth work, rich with metaphor and imagery, empowered with feeling tone and straight talk, and delicate with a vulnerability that touches tender places, permeating soul and presence.
Share in the journey of a poet's diverse life path as artist, naturalist, sensory being, daughter, great-niece, pet lover and insightful human. As we read through this important coming-of-age offering, we travel alongside a heart that is winding through vulnerability-strength, anger-sadness-acceptance, fear-courage, and loss-release to find home." -Beth Goren
Currents, a bi-annual publication of Body-Mind Centering Association, 2011 (photo:Eliezer Parrilla)
"Everything is for you, by you",
is what I heard, in my inner ear.
Messages from the Self to the self
if heard, can give you a real security,
if you listen.
It is the only voice that is true,
with nothing to hide, with no agenda,
with no payment. It just is.
If you quiet the mind, it is always
there --- you must let dissolve what
Man - In Cooperation
Man is Man.
He sells out his brother,
no matter the color or class.
His victim isn't special -
it's just what he does.
You may not remember, but
last time, you were the one
doing the betraying.
Now, you get to experience
the other side of the equation.
The art is not the object.
The making of the art,
is not the object.
Even the process of making
the art is not the object.
It is what the art is
c o m m u n i c a t i n g
that is the point, from
where it comes, that is
The painting itself has
no value, does it
make you feel?
Look to the source for
the message, it’s in the
It is a message to itself,
it gives of itself to itself.
The experience is the art.
Understanding where it
comes from is the art.
Allowing it is the art.
Accepting it is the art.
Knowledge of this, is
Look into what you can’t see,
feel what you can’t touch,
taste what you can’t smell,
Times Around the Sun
I am not forgotten, to myself.
I remember many knee scrapes,
rejections and ignore-ances of others
as I look upon the healed scars.
It is only I, that recognize the markers along
my journey and more importantly:
the undoing and undressing of the mask
and inner tensions built, in order to survive.
Now, going forward, it is the absence of it
that allows naked feelings to spontaneously
announce themselves, dance within my being,
whispering the whys of lessons my Self
taught me, and that revealing the original nature
of my Self, is the way home.
"Truth 2", charcoal on paper, 12x9, 2018
My 2nd Poetry Collection: Escape Velocity is Launched !!
Books in print and T-shirts for sale!