Author ofThe Forage House. Nonfiction writer. Californian. Vegetable gardener. Professor of English at Whittier College.
Upcoming Readings (Spring 2015)
Wednesday, April 8 5:00 p.m. Poetry reading with John Hoppenthaler followed by Q&A Lind Hall University of Minnesota 207 Church St SE Minneapolis, MN 55455
Friday, April 10 12:00-1:15 p.m. AWP Session F193 Inscriptions for Air: Race, Identity, and Relation: In memory of Jake Adam York, and in the spirit of witness, this panel continues a longstanding conversation concerning race and relation. In his posthumously published book, York paraphrases poet Edouard Glissant's idea: in relation, self and other approach each other as equals, as citizens of a moment in which time and place may be reframed. Panelists will include the audience in a discussion about relation, history's record, and striving for social and self-awareness in poetry and beyond. Featuring: Wesley Rothman, Tess Taylor, Martha Collins, Sean Hill, Jon Tribble Room L100 F&G, Lower Level Minneapolis Convention Center 1301 Second Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55403 https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/schedule_overview?date=all&from_time=&to_time=&event_keyword=&participant=Rothman&
Saturday, April 11 9:00-10:15 a.m. AWP Session S125 The Politics of Empathy: Writing Through Borrowed Eyes When writers create characters nothing like themselves, it can inspire empathy. But authors often wrestle with their right to borrow another identity or feel confined to writing only about their own race, gender, or community. Asian Americans rarely get away with white protagonists; straight male authors shy away from gay characters. This diverse panel will consider what's at stake when you cross the identity line, whether white writers are guilty of appropriation, and other touchy topics. Featuring: Lorraine Berry, Matthew Salesses, Prageeta Sharma, Tess Taylor, Aimee Phan Room M100 F&G, Mezzanine Level Minneapolis Convention Center 1301 Second Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55403 https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/schedule_overview?date=2015-04-11&from_time=&to_time=&event_keyword=&participant=Prageeta&
Tuesday, April 14 1:30-3:00 p.m. Whittier College Writers Festival and Mini-Conference Whittier Faculty Readings: Featuring Tony Barnstone, Jennifer Holmes, Tess Taylor, Kate Durbin, Scott Creley Wardman Library Whittier College 7031 Founders Hill Road Whittier, CA 90602 http://www.shannoncenter.org/WhittierWritersFestival.html
Thursday, April 16 1:30-3:00 p.m. Whittier College Writers Festival and Mini-Conference Panel: The Ethics of Documentary Poetics, featuring: Cynthia Hogue, Geoffrey Brock, Tony Barnstone, Tess Taylor, and moderator Natale Zappia Wardman Library Whittier College 7031 Founders Hill Road Whittier, CA 90602 http://www.shannoncenter.org/WhittierWritersFestival.html
Sunday, April 19 1:30 p.m. LA Times Festival of Books Poetry Reading with Tess Taylor and Robert Polito followed by signing Poetry Stage USC Campus University of Southern California University Park Campus Los Angeles, CA 90089 http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/ Some recent cool things: The Forage House was featured on The Blog on HuffPost! Tess on NPR reviewing I Am The Beggar Of The World.
Other notes: “Tess Taylor’s The Forage House is a brave and compelling collection that bears witness to the journey of historical discovery. Sifting through archives, artifact, and souvenir, Taylor presents a dialectic of what’s recorded and what’s not, unearthing the traces that give way to her own history—and a vital link to our shared American past. What’s here and accounted for draws us powerfully toward what’s absent; what seems complete here never is—something as fragmented as history in the language, as haunted too.”
“Ezra Pound’s definition of the epic—’A poem containing history’—demands courage and intellectual range, as well as lyrical gifts. Tess Taylor meets that challenge in The Forage House. A figure of epic scale, Taylor’s Thomas Jefferson is tragic as well: ‘ambitious foundering father.’ The poise, candor and reach of this book—with a vision that embraces the enigmas of contemporary El Cerrito along with those of the slave-owner Jefferson—are deeply impressive.”
“Document-gatherer, exorcist, mourner, pack-rat, and celebrant—Tess Taylor orients herself within her family’s history of slave-owning in Virginia, their missionary zeal in India, and their displacement to California. A mini-history of our nation, her ambitious poems ignite fact into lyric flash as she implores her ancestors ‘to explain / their America, their prodigal / half-remembered, always present pain.’ The Forage House is a book of conscience and sensuous reckoning.”
“In Tess Taylor’s collection of poetry, American history is a garment woven from tattered bits of family lore and large swaths of imaginative inlays, so that which shines most is a spun strand of stunningly rich language.”
“Tess Taylor’s The Forage House is, among other things, a tribute to the human capacity to perceive the objects of one’s attention—one’s surroundings, things at hand, and even oneself—not merely as they appear in the present, but also as products of, and with, particular histories. These histories can never be retrieved in their entirety, much less with perfect certainty, and what we discover of them might turn out to be difficult to accept. Nonetheless, the sense that we live “haunted by remains” should be cultivated and celebrated as a redeeming human trait, one that will serve not only to fortify our grasp of the present, but also our commitment to the future. Few books in recent memory have taken up that task as scrupulously and artfully as this one.”
For more information about The Forage House, click here.
Author of The Misremembered World, selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America's 2003 Chapbook Fellowship.
"Bold and winning. A book... full of the surprising maps of human desire and regret." — Eavan Boland
Thanks to Jonah Schulz for the header and overall design.