Would you like to own the edited manuscript of “What Teachers Make”?

Posted On May 25th, 2015

On September 7th, I am giving away the original master markup copy of “What Teachers Make,” and I will include a handwritten letter of authenticity. The money raised will allow young writers of color to attend “Your Word,” a teen writing residency held each summer at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Last year a special campaign provided scholarships for three inner-city teens from Cleveland and Milwaukee. But my goal of $10,000 will allow Your Word to give out five full scholarships to talented teen writers of color (African American and Hispanic). Help me make that happen.

One $10 raffle ticket (which you can purchase here if the widget below does not work) gives you one chance to win the manuscript, but I’m also giving away five first edition hardback copies of “What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World” and ten letterpress broadsides of “How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog.”

Wednesday, June 17th: Page Meets Stage with Beau Sia and Watsky!

Posted On May 20th, 2015

LOCATION: The DL Lounge 95 Delancey St. (SW corner of Ludlow St.) F/M to Delancey/Essex St. or 6 to Spring St.

The series, often called “where the Pulitzer Prize meets the poetry slam,” is like no other poetry reading series anywhere. Each month, for 10 years, two different poets, one who writes primarily for the page and another who is more performance oriented, take the stage together and read back and forth, poem for poem. It is not a slam or competition in any way. Check out YouTube to see some of the more memorable moments in the series, or go to www.PageMeetsStage.com for the complete schedule. Tickets are $12 (but ½ price if purchased online in advance). Call 646-543-5232 for more information.

Buy half-price advance tickets here!

Wednesday, May 20: Page Meets Stage with Sapphire and Franny Choi!

Posted On April 25th, 2015

LOCATION: The DL Lounge 95 Delancey St. (SW corner of Ludlow St.) F/M to Delancey/Essex St. or 6 to Spring St.

The series, often called “where the Pulitzer Prize meets the poetry slam,” is like no other poetry reading series anywhere. Each month, for 10 years, two different poets, one who writes primarily for the page and another who is more performance oriented, take the stage together and read back and forth, poem for poem. It is not a slam or competition in any way. Check out YouTube to see some of the more memorable moments in the series, or go to www.PageMeetsStage.com for the complete schedule. Tickets are $12 (but ½ price if purchased online in advance). Call 646-543-5232 for more information.

Buy half-price advance tickets here!

Saturday, April 25, I’ll be performing on the High Line at 6:30 pm!

Posted On April 15th, 2015
LOCATION: On the High Line at West 26th Street

Celebrate National Poetry Month with a stroll on the High Line at sunset and encounter a series of poetry performances along the park; ten blocks of traditional readings, spoken word, and ASL Poetry. Presented in collaboration with the Academy of American Poets.

RSVP

Get started with poetry readings by Sarah Gambito, Saeed Jones, Taylor Mali, David Tomas Martinez and Leigh Stein.

Enjoy a performance by top New York artists whose primary language is American Sign Language: Maleni Chaitoo, John McGinty, Lewis Merkin, Lynnette Taylor, Alexandria Wailes and Jon Wolfe-Nelson, based on poems by Darren Fudenske, Douglas Ridloff, David Rivera and Anne Tomasetti. Created by Other Voices.

Witness the creative process unfold as Wendy Chen, Mariama J. Lockington and Camille Rankine reveal writing improvisations projected on large screens.

And get inspired by the powerful spoken word performances of some of the Nuyorican all stars: Lemon Andersen, Nancy Mercado, Maria Rodriguez-Morales, Edwin Torres and Emanuel Xavier.

Join us after for a closing party with National Book award winner Mark Doty, music and (yes!) a cash bar.

Wednesday, April 15th, 8 pm: Page Meets Stage with Jill Alexander Essbaum and Sean Patrick Mulroy

Posted On April 9th, 2015

The RED ROOM at the DL Lounge
95 Delancey St. (SW corner of Ludlow)

Page Meets Stage was born in 2005 when Billy Collins and Taylor Mali read together on the same stage in an event called “Page vs. Stage: The Final Smackdown!” Now it is a monthly series curated by Taylor which brings together two poets—one ostensibly repping the “page,” the other ostensibly repping a more performative style—to read/perform back and forth, poem for poem, continuing the conversation of where poetry exists. Some of the most prominent poets in the United States both in the “academy” and in spoken word circles (Gerald Stern, Mark Doty, Carol Muske-Dukes, Valzhyna Mort, Paul Muldoon, Thomas Lux, Roger Bonair-Agard, Patricia Smith, Rives, Lynne Procope, to name just a few) have been involved.

Check out YouTube to see some of the more memorable moments in the series (search for “Page Meets Stage”), or go to www.PageMeetsStage.com for the complete schedule.
Tickets are $12 at the door on the night of the show but are available in advance (for a discount) at www.PageMeetsStage.com. Call 646-543-5232 for more information.

Eleven poem videos from “Bouquet of Red Flags”

Posted On November 10th, 2014

In the two weeks leading up to the release of my latest book of poetry, I made almost daily short videos of poems from the book and posted them to YouTube. Some have short comments about the poems themselves or how to get a signed copy of the book, but others don’t. Anyway, here they all are not necessarily in the order they were made/uploaded. Enjoy.
Stalking AirSwitchedNaked GardenerSpell LOVEHave HoldCondimentsBroken ThingsAlways MoreWithout LimitShut up
Sonnet

 

Please pre-order my new book of poems!

Posted On October 7th, 2014

Bouquet_of_Red_Flags_100614

My latest book is now available for ordering (or pre-ordering, depending on when you’re reading this). It’s been five years since I’ve put out a book of poetry, and a lot has happened since then. If you’ve liked my work in the past, you’ll love this book because I’ve settled into my style. By turns delightful, haunting, and humorous, Bouquet of Red Flags blends wit and honesty in form, rhyme, and the artful composition Taylor Mali is known for. These poems commemorate the end of a marriage, celebrate the overlooked daily imperfect miracles of coincidence, and elevate the singular “strings and obligations good luck drags behind it like tin can marriage bells.” Bouquet of Red Flags speaks to the healing power of forgiveness, letting go, and “laughter, which is nothing more than breath from so far deep inside it often brings up with it tears.” Lessons of wonder spiced with the “deepest condiments.”

Available from Write Bloody Publishing or your favorite online bookseller.

Poetry and Making Money in the Stock Market

Posted On August 19th, 2014

Years ago in the faculty break room of the last school where I taught, the head of the math department and I were talking about stocks and bonds and investing in the market. What I learned that day about money management I now think is applicable to poetry.

The head of the math department—let’s call him Dave—was an enthusiastic amateur investor and always interested in hearing “tips” about companies to invest in. It was the late 90s, and the internet had just opened up accounts for people like him to trade on their own. On the other hand, as a rich kid from Park Avenue, I grew up believing that my money (which isn’t really mine; I’m just living off of it for my lifetime before handing it off to the next generation) is best managed by the professionals with whom I have lunch once or twice a year in one of their Executive Dining Rooms.

We started talking about individual stocks, and Dave kept asking me “What kind of dividends does THAT pay?” I kept saying I didn’t know. He got more and more frustrated by my NOT knowing, so I asked him why that was so important to him. Dave’s response was telling: “How are you going to make any money in the market if your stock pays no dividend?!” Finally a question I could answer: “Through appreciation.”

If I buy some shares of stock for $100 and it does well one year, it might produce profits of $10, which it could pay as a dividend (a 10% return would be amazing!). But it could take some, or most, or ALL of that $10 and reinvest it in itself by expanding or modernizing or in some other way IMPROVING itself and becoming a better or BIGGER company. In a statistically perfect world, the stock I purchased for $100 has gained in value and is now worth $110. Or more. If it starts looking like a good investment, other people will buy it, and the price will go up even more. That’s how you make REAL money in the stock market: by buying low and selling high years later (sometimes decades later).

That’s the main difference between Dave and me: He looked at the stock market like it was a bank account with a fluctuating interest rate; I looked at like a rising tide. After 10 years in the market, his $100 stock might have paid him $10 every year but still be worth only $100. Mine might have paid out nothing in dividends, but it would be worth $259!

It’s like a life spent reading and writing and wrestling with poetry. The benefits are more long-term, more subtle, almost hidden. The language of business has infiltrated education in recent years, but the questions all seem to be short term questions like Dave’s. “Reading and writing poetry? What kind of dividend does that pay?” Not as much as others, but that’s the wrong question to ask. Appreciation and reinvestment and compounding interest: That’s how you become rich (in my family).

NEW POEM DRAFT: “Darkless Prayer for the Longful”

Posted On June 30th, 2014

Terrible news of the struggles of a friend’s infant son to survive prompted this poem recently, which ends up being (as T. S. Eliot would say ALL poems do) about the act of writing itself. Keep tiny Graham in your prayers!

Darkless Prayer for the Longful

Some people have more guts
than they will ever need.
I wish that were the reason

some babies are born
with their intestines
on the outsides of their bodies

in a small sac, as they were
with your son, born
already willing and able to give.

I wish this in the same way
I wish sometimes
certain words existed that do not,

words like darkless, to be utterly
and completely without
darkness. I wish I had more darkless news,

you wrote of tiny Graham, who has died
so many times
and been brought back that he has become

a miracle modern medicine
can perform again and again
but never heal. Once, years ago, feeling longful,

needy, and sad, I searched online
for longful, just to see
if it was a real word I had permission to use.

But all I could find were people, hundreds,
all searching and asking
the same questions—Is longful a word
 
I can use? To be filled with longing?—
which was just
the permission I was looking for.