I have listened to "Steering With My Knees" several times. More than anything it has been a real uplift for me. I remember vividly how blown away I was when I first read Paul's "Roughstock Sonnets" way back in 1991, and now, a quarter century later, I am even more blown away but on some kind of a "higher" level. What a deep appreciation I have for what Paul has done here. The poetry, the delivery, the overall effect of the performances—it all gives the impression of an artist who has not allowed himself to be compromised in the least by the neutering effects of a society that celebrates mediocrity. Half way through the second disc I was struck with an insight to this work that I had never had before—it hit me: "This is JAZZ," in the fullest meaning of the word.
– John Hollis (Singer-Songwriter)

"Listening to a privileged, early glimpse of Paul Zarzyski's "Steering with my Knees" double audio CD. Far as I can tell, he's put together that rarest kind of creative animal, something pretty dern close to absolutely original. A meticulously curated mélange of PZ reading his poetry accompanied by a rotating mix of sax / piano / bass / electric guitar / organ / accordion / harmonica / background vocals. Haven't heard anything else quite like it. I've always felt that Paul was a bona fide genius. If there's any justice at all left in the universe, this CD is going to hit the Billboard charts and Paul's finally going to get that MacArthur grant that's had his name on it all these years. To quote Jim Harrison, in a slightly different context, "I wrote this at high noon and without a drink." So yeah, I really dig it..."
– Allen Morris Jones (Publisher, Bangtail Press, MT)

MQ:  Is there anything you’d like readers to know going into Steering With My Knees?
PZ: Some readers may recognize me as a rodeo poet, a badge I wear with honor, and although there’s a hearty dose of that genre on the discs, the bulk of the tracks have heavy infusions of rock, jazz, blues, folk, white bread rap, and electronica music. Sorry, nary a skosh of modern-day country-western, but rather, from track-to-track, poetic and musical grooves and riffs that intend to dazzle the stirrup bone of the fun-loving eclectic ear. Dozens of highly esteemed virtuosos joined the producers and myself over the past year and a half to propel this project deeper and deeper into the far reaches of the Musical Universe, the open range of the Cowpoke Cosmos, where stereotypes and fenced-in genres do not, thank goodness, exist.  
– Kris King, The Montana Quarterly, Winter 2015  

"There are lots of good rodeo hands in this old world and a fair number of good poets. To find a man who is both is as rare as a wet summer in eastern Montana. Paul Zarzyski knows the jerk of the bareback riggin' and the surge and flow of classic narrative poetry in the Masefield tradition.  He is a rare talent…”
Ian Tyson (Songwriter and Singer)  

Mr. Zarzyski alternates between bluster and lyricism.  For the former, he uses lopingly metered stanzas and punch-drunk, self-mythologizing bravura…But he proves equally adept at meditative free verse… 
– Megan Harlan, The New York Times Book Review

When I get Paul Zarzyski together with pickers in the studio, it’s not like anything else any of us has done. There is no master plan, no music charts, no song to play. It’s all up for grabs. Which is why we all love it and why we’re a bit nervous, a bit uncertain, excited and intrigued. Unlike Paul’s previous occupation of rodeo bronc rider, none of us is in any danger of breaking anything or even losing our lives, but there is still a thrill that runs through us when Paul begins his ride and starts to read us a poem. We want to run with him, to join him on his ride. Before long a melody comes to mind, a rhythm, a certain sound, all suggested by Paul’s reading. Then, inspired by the music building up around him and coming to his poetry, Paul ups the intensity and lets his words fly, and the music comes to surround the words with another dimension of meaning. All too soon, it’s over, and we’re looking at each other with the elation that comes after a good ride and a challenge well met. These musicians are up to this challenge and relish it, and I love them for it. Their creative spirit is the perfect complement to Paul’s own unique gift. Enjoy all these great rides by the poet and the pickers. God Bless them!
Jim Rooney (Producer)  

"In prose literature there are labels such as "Kafka-esque" and "Hemingway-esque." In cowboy poetry there is, or ought to be, "Zarzyski-esque." No other "-esques" come close." 
–Jesse Mullins, American Cowboy Magazine   

Zarzyski doesn't seem so much to speak his crafted lines—as roll them around on his pallet and allow you to share the taste and the power in the meaning of each word. I am reminded of Dylan Thomas reciting “Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London,” or Kenneth Rexroth reading “Thou Shalt Not Kill!,” or Kerouac reciting “October in the Railroad Earth,” or Finbar Furey singing “The Green Fields of France,” or Luke Kelley singing “Raglan Road.” That ancient place where the singer is one with the song…
Time stops for that short moment when a great magician tells his tale… This man would never lie to you.  That fact is a small revolution in itself.  He will entertain you.  Then, when your heart is melting, he will tear it out, take a chaw out of it and hand it back to you in a popcorn box.  You’ll leave the theater changed.  Smiling.  Moved.  Gracias, Saint Pablo. 
–Tom Russell (Songwriter, Singer, Painter, Essayist, Film Maker)

What better metaphor than a bronc to carry the intensity with which Paul Zarzyski lives the language? Poems and broncs are crucibles where a lifetime of yearning and passion distill into something pure. Eight seconds or twenty lines: the great rides, like the great poems, take a lifetime to create and are both ephemeral and lasting, shimmering like some eternal afterimage of sacrifice and desire on the edges of consciousness. They strike sparks off the wild soul we each still have within us and make us believe, once again, in the impossible.... All This Way For The Short Ride cuts to the bone and reaches the marrow of pure meaning: the good of things, the bad of things, the interior world where good and bad can't begin to describe things. This book is about rodeo. This book is about life.  It will last."  
Teresa Jordan (Author)

"Paul Zarzyski's poems will break your heartand then turn right around and mend it. He looks pain squarely in the eye, takes its measure, and counters it with tenderness and wisdom, all in language that should be set to music. Books like this are the reason poetry exists." 
Ed McClanahan, (Author)