Upcoming Readings and Events for Fall 2015 Thursday, October 15, 2015 Doors at 6:30, reading at 7:00pm Flight of Poets (part of Litquake) Wine and poetry have always made a delicious duet. At this reading, curated by Hollie Hardy and Tess Taylor, internationally renowned sommelier Christopher Sawyer pairs six talented poets--Tony Barnstone, Ellen Bass, Annelyse Gelman, Maisha Z. Johnson, Deborah Landau, and Indigo Moor--with six exquisite wines carefully selected to illuminate their work. This event always sells out, so grab your tickets now. Hotel Rex 562 Sutter St. San Francisco, CA For tickets/more information: http://www.litquake.org/events/flight-poets-0
Tuesday, November 3 7:00-8:30 p.m. Relatives and Strangers: America in Black and White Reading and Discussion at Poplar Forest Join Tess Taylor and Gayle Jessup White at Thomas Jefferson’s private retreat and tobacco plantation, where they will reflect upon their interconnected pasts. Ms. Taylor will read from her work of poetry, The Forage House, her meditation on her relationship with her ancestors and with the American past. A reception will follow. Poplar Forest will offer its Enslaved Community tour prior to the event. Reservations required for this event. Poplar Forest 1542 Bateman Bridge Road Forest, VA 24551-0419 For tickets/more information: http://www.poplarforest.org/event/relatives-and-strangers-america-in-black-and-white/#.VfidZntsDxZ
Wednesday, November 4 7:00-8:30 p.m. Relatives and Strangers: America in Black and White Discussion at Randolph College History professor John d’Entremont moderates a discussion with writer-educators Gayle Jessup White and Tess Taylor, on Americans’ shared but divided racial past, the shadow it casts on the present, and the prospects for a future of reconciliation and peace. Cousins White and Taylor will share their personal stories, and invite comments and insights from the audience. Dessert reception to follow. Wimberly Recital Hall, Presser Hall Randolph College 2500 Rivermont Avenue Lynchburg, VA 24503 This event is free and open to the public. http://www.randolphcollege.edu/calendar/
Saturday, November 7 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Using the Artifact: Teen Writing Workshop with Tess Taylor Tess will lead teen writers in a workshop about engaging artifacts, archaeology, and history in crafting poems. The morning will start with a look at model poems built around historic artifacts (including poems by Natasha Trethewey, Kevin Young, and Rachel Richardson), and then will give participants a chance for a private tour and reflective time in the Monroe house during the hours before Ash Lawn-Highland opens, so each writer can contemplate their own history poem. The morning will conclude with a writing workshop using artifacts from Ash Lawn-Highland’s collections as inspiration, subject, or starting point. The workshop will be followed by lunch, a brief reading by Tess, and a question and answer session. Ash Lawn-Highland 2050 James Monroe Parkway Charlottesville, VA 22902 (434) 293-8000 For more information: http://ashlawnhighland.org/event/using-the-artifact-writing-workshop-with-tess-taylor/ To register: http://twc.tupelopressva.org/product/exploring-history-using-the-artifact-a-reading-conversation-and-workshop-with-tess-taylor/
Sunday, November 8 10:10-11:10 a.m. Spiritual Formation Hour featuring Tess Taylor Episcopalian and poet Tess Taylor will be at St. Paul’s during the spiritual formation hour at 10:10 a.m. St. Pauls Episcopal 815 East Grace St. Richmond, VA 23219 http://www.stpaulsrva.org/learn/adult-formation/
Friday, November 13 6:00-8:00 p.m. The Habit of Work: Writing Every Day (series of four classes) On November 13, Tess Taylor will be the guest writer. Join Justine Kenin, a producer of NPR's All Things Considered, and guest writers and editors in a series of casual conversations to get right with your writing habits. We'll meet every three weeks through the fall to figure out what's getting in your way and how to create room in your day-to-day life for writing. That way you can go off and write and come back, and by the end, with effort and luck, you’ll be able to see real change in your writing habits. Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20008 (202) 364-1919 For more information: http://www.politics-prose.com/class/habit-of-work-1573
Sunday, December 6 2:00-4:00 p.m. Ravenswood Poetry Series Poetry in a beautiful, historic setting. Readings by Tess Taylor and Kate Buckley, followed by open mic. Ravenswood Historical Site 2647 Arroyo Road Livermore, CA 94550 Some recent cool things: A piece Tess wrote for the VIDA, Women in Literary Arts web site,Report from the Field: But Do You Have to Work? Tess onNPRreviewingHow to be Drawnby Terrance Hayes. The Forage Housewas featured onThe Blog on HuffPost!
Vendela Vida praises Tess in theWall Street Journal. LISTENto Tess read fromThe Forage House. WATCHa video of Tess reading selected poems fromThe Forage Houseand sharing a little bit about her creative process at the American Antiquarian Society. WATCHa video of Tess reading her poem "Prayer for Ordinary Time."
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.