Book review – Vincent Katz’s Swimming Home

A few months ago, I was reading on Brian’s Leiter’s blog, Leiter Reports, about a new press started by academic, professional philosophers — Mark Anderson and Andy Davis of Belmont University with Charles Ives of the University of Washington — who aimed to engage a non-specialist, non-professional audience. They have in mind a press publishing monographs and a journal that is open to creative writing as well as essays that take up philosophical issues while avoiding the jargon and pedantic language that plague so many of today’s academic presses.

S.Ph. Press, or Sophia and Philosophia Press, is the result.

Their mission statement, which is worth reading in its entirety, gives a clue as to what this new venture is about.

S.Ph. Press intends to provide a platform for philosophically imaginative works of nonfiction and fiction, written either by professional academics in search of an outlet for their creative or popularizing impulses, or by creative thinkers and writers with an academic’s training or independently acquired expertise.

The first issue of the new journal, S.Ph. Essays and Explorations, published online last week. It’s available for free, in HTML and PDF, on their website. Check out the essays, a fictional letter written in the voice of Xanthippe (better known as Socrates’ wife) to her mother, as well as a new review of Vincent Katz’s latest book of poetry, Swimming Home.

I will be serving as the Poetry Reviews Editor for this new journal, so if you have a book that you want me to consider reviewing, please get in touch.

Swimming Home, by Vincent Kaz
Swimming Home, by Vincent Kaz

…The craft of poetry, for Katz, involves observing otherwise unnoticed details which become the images around which his poems take shape. It includes giving weight to some moments rather than others, not extraordinary moments, but the ephemeral everydayness. It also includes the call of “stranded personalities, summoned cops, chewing walkers,” “buildings line up in light,” “pigeons flying in circles,” “coffee in a paper cup,” and the response of the poet who shapes images with language. These are the sensuous interactions that require being alone, the focus of Swimming Home. The aloneness of poetry, the aloneness that life imposes on us. Katz’s volume is a poetic exploration of the existential singularity with which we face the world…

Read the full review at S.Ph. Essays and Explorations.