Howard Horowitz is a geographer and poet. He carefully combines both crafts in the creation of "wordmaps": cartographically informed images that are also narrative texts. Two wordmap posters "Manhattan" and "The Oregon Coast" are described below and are now available as high quality posters.
Densely-packed like the island it depicts, “Manhattan”
celebrates a great city and its diversity. Each place – over 100
in all, from Spuyten Duyvil to Battery Park – has a story,
as do the people and the events.
The vision came in a dream during the blizzard of 1996.
The island of words was chiseled into shape over 18 months,
out of the bedrock of language and imagination.
This “wordmap” is both a poem and a map. It is ideal for
display as an art poster at home or in a classroom. It can foster
a broader awareness of Manhattan, where so many people live,
work, or visit.
It invites consideration of urban geology and ecology
(such as continental drift, or Central Park as a migratory bird refuge,
or the seasonal movements of shad and striped bass in the Hudson.)
It invites examination of historical events (such as the purchase of
Manhattan in 1624, or patterns of immigration of people from many lands,
or the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.)
It reflects our distinctive expressions of cultural identity
(such as festivals, sports, museums, performances, foods, and legends.)
Key elements of the infrastructure (including bridges, tunnels,
subways, water, sewage, and garbage) are embedded in the framework of
the text, along with vivid glimpses of work, play, and daily life in the city.The wordmap spans a billion years of geology,
and centuries of history, but the island never stops changing: garbage no longer goes to Fresh Kills, the Fulton Fish Market
is moving north to Hunts Point, and most importantly,
new towers will rise at Ground Zero from ashes of memory and loss.
Full text of Manhattan
Purchase the Manhattan Poster
Originally published in the New York Times on August 30, 1997, “Manhattan” was reprinted in a half-dozen other publications around the world. This poster provides an attractive, easy-to-read larger size 18' x 36" format on high-quality 100-weight paper, suitable for framing. Manhattan is available for $35 plus shipping. To puchase Manhattan click on "Add to Cart" below.
Oregon Coast Poster
This poem maps a continent's edge:
unstable and prone to extremes.
The bedrock of words - erupted from within
or deposited by floods of events -
i s deformed and uplifted
by impacts of geology and history,
by the rigors of cartography,
and by the softer touches of memory and love.
The wordmap of the Oregon Coast is available as a color poster, suitable for framing. The size is approx. 14" x 36".
The poster price is $25
To puchase The Oregon Coast poster click on "Add to Cart" below.
12 Lawrence Ave.
Warwick, NY 10990
© 2007 wordmaps. Michael J. Skafidas