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....
In collaboration with McNally Jackson Books, Elizabeth Street Garden has a summer music and poetry series. This theme was ‘myth’.
August 15, 2021
Back Cover: "Cate McNider's Separation and Return is a collection of missives from the buried self in search of expression and communication to the conscious mind. These are poetic explorations, celebrations, and observations: of nature, love, justice, and the mysteries that surround, confound, and inform the soul; the product of a series of relationships beginning in her early twenties, which, she says, "sparked my curiosity for exploring my gifts. Childhood events created a buried treasure, which the arts helped me to explore, "specifically, "[the] contents and whereabouts of my body/mind/soul." In her words, the poetic effusions contained within these pages "cover a range of experience, from the separation of myself from myself in the process of healing and observations along the way, then returned to myself whole and healthy. The axiom 'healer heal thyself' applied to me long before I knew what it entailed."
Here is a unique poetic voice that is straightforward in tone, emotionally honest in expression, perceptive, unsentimental, and very powerful. " -- 2010 Vantage Press
Cover: 'Fierce Intent', oil on canvas, 20x24", Cate McNider, 1995
Samples from Separation and Return (81 pages):
We arrive an alias.
We must take it upon ourselves
to create the original.
Meandering in a low, dense walk
I forgot to dress, wounds open.
Slipped inside a sleeve,
slipped inside a sleeve,
taking refuge in epithelium.
Forgetting what it was
that drove me there, drove me
to pierce the inner wall of membrane,
listen to retinaculum hum like a shaker,
decifer the hieroglyphs of bone
and sit when I wanted nothing
but to Get Out!
Crack me open!
My body is ever so tender
when the dwellers within emerge
to paint their canvases.
"Fierce Intent", oil on canvas, 16x20
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