Author ofThe Forage House. Nonfiction writer. Californian. Vegetable gardener. Professor of English at Whittier College.
June 6, 2015 1:00-1:50 p.m. Poetry from There and Here: Panel discussion and short readings (featuring Tess Taylor, Fabiano Alborghetti, John W. Evans, and Arvind Krishna Mehrotra) Bay Area Book Festival Magnes Museum 2121 Allston Way Berkeley, CA http://www.baybookfest.org/
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.