Come hear me read at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on 5/20/2016

Posted On May 12th, 2016

It is the center of spoken word on the East Coast, and 21 years after my first feature there I’ll be returning on Friday, May 20, 2016, for maybe the fifth or sixth time to The Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

236 East 3rd St.
New York City

These days you need to buy a ticket in advance order to get in, so visit their website and do what needs to be done.

When I teach poetry workshops to teens . . .

Posted On May 6th, 2016

. . . I spend most of my time exhorting them to strew their writing with objects. Talk about things! Things you can hold in your hands, things with rough edges, things that would hurt if you threw them at someone else. Don’t get me wrong: Poetry is perhaps the best way to write about feelings and emotions. But the WAY IN to those feelings is through concrete objects in our daily lives. At least for me. And I’m not a good enough teacher to explore other options.

Come to the last Page Meets Stage until the autumn on 5/11/2016!

Posted On May 6th, 2016

At 7:15 pm on the Wednesday, May 11, I’ll be at the last pairing of Page Meets Stage, featuring John Murillo and Caits Meissner. It’s one of my favorite nights of every month. I never do a poem there, but sometimes I am the host. Regardless, it’s a great place to have a drink and listen to two excellent poets read back and forth, poem for poem. Will you meet me there?

The Celebration of Whimsy (The COW)
21A Clinton St. (just south of Houston)
Admission: $12 at the door (or $6 in advance at Eventbrite)
Doors open at 7:15 pm

Read a new poem written by me every day in April!

Posted On March 24th, 2016

April is National Poetry Month, and like a lot of my friends I plan to participate in the 30/30 Challenge, writing a new poem every day for the month of April and posting it to social media. I didn’t do it last year because I had a new baby, but now I have new toddler, which might even be worse than a baby in terms of trying to find time every day to write and post a new poem. I may resort to short poems about diapering, a new form of poem I call haipu. I guarantee that not all of them will be good and fear that none of them will! But failure is instructive so I invite you to witness mine.

I will try to post each poem before noon. What’s easiest for me is to print the poem, take a photo of it, and post that photo to my Instagram account where it will then autopost to my Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Neil Hilborn meets Jared Singer at Page Meets Stage on 4/13/2016!

Posted On November 12th, 2015

At 7:15 pm on the second Wednesday of every month, I attend a decade-long running poetry series called Page Meets Stage that I help curate. It’s one of my favorite nights of every month. I never do a poem there, but sometimes I am the host. Regardless, it’s a great place to have a drink and listen to two excellent poets read back and forth, poem for poem. Will you meet me there?

The Celebration of Whimsy (The COW)
21A Clinton St. (just south of Houston)
Admission: $12 at the door (or $6 in advance at Eventbrite)
Doors open at 7:15 pm

Here’s a quick & dirty (amateur) promo video I made:
https://www.facebook.com/taylor.mali/videos/10153410526636317/?theater

Cultivating a Secret Broken Honesty

Posted On October 30th, 2015

Writing poetry for me has three important stages: observation, reflection, and expression (and more reflection). I see something, I think something, and I say something (and then I think more). Too often teachers of creative writing—especially poetry—give assignments concerned only with expression—or how to SOUND like a poet—and ignore the skills of observation and reflection (how to see like a poet and how to think like a poet).

That said, this poetry lessonette called “Cultivating a Secret Broken Honesty” starts with expression, but quickly becomes more about reflection. This is a pretty accurate example of how I teach a live poetry workshop: some definitions, some discussion, a model poem, several examples, some time to write, and a clear idea of what to do when the lessonette is over.

Tell me what you think. Or leave the results of your work in the comments below.

If you do the whole thing and have something to share as a result of it, either tweet me @TaylorMali or, better yet, include the hashtag #BrokenHonesty so others will see it.

 

Tenth Anniversary Showcase of Page Meets Stage!

Posted On October 22nd, 2015

This coming November 11, 2015, virtually 10 years to the day after the very first pairing of Page Meets Stage (which wasn’t even a series yet but rather just a one-off reading), several alumni of the 80 pairings that have happened since will join together with a few emerging voices to celebrate this amazing series “where the Pulitzer Prize meets the poetry slam.” The event will take place at 7:00 pm at our new venue in New York City:

The Celebration of Whimsy
21 Clinton Street
(just south of Houston)

The first pairing of Page Meets Stage was Billy Collins and me, and it took place on November 12, 2005. I remember the whole day well because it lasted six hours longer than usual for me! See, I had finished teaching a residency in Copenhagen the day before, so on the morning of the biggest poetry reading of my life in New York City, I woke up in Europe! Was I exhausted? Of course. But not so much as my heart was bursting with pride. It was Bob Holman’s idea to have me and Billy read back and forth, poem for poem, and we have continued to do that at all pairings since that first one. Indeed, that unique aspect of our format is what audiences love and what makes Page Meets Stage such a great show. There’s rarely been one poet who overpowers the other—and it’s certainly not a competition—because the truth is we only ask poets who are pretty accomplished on BOTH surfaces, page and stage.

Please do join us on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, as we welcome back several veterans from the last 10 years as well as some emerging voices who will renew our hope in the literary future.

Today I wrote a check for $10,000 as a gift

Posted On September 10th, 2015

I haven’t done that very often in my life, written a check that big. And it’s certainly the biggest donation I’ve ever made to any cause. But this time, I had a lot of help. See, I raffled off the original manuscript of my 2012 book “What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World” and gave the money to a teenage writing residency called Your Word, which takes place every summer at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Specifically, my gift will enable five teenage writers of color to attend Your Word for free! The program does their best to diversify the student body, but I wanted to help them. So I organized this raffle of my original manuscript, which I might otherwise have recycled. At first I was going to auction it off to the highest bidder, but someone said “Don’t do THAT! That manuscript should be given to a TEACHER! If you hold an auction, it’ll go to a rich person! Have a RAFFLE. That way anyone MIGHT win, and you’ll likely raise MORE money anyway.” I think they were right; I can’t imagine someone bidding $10,000 all by themselves for the scribbled pages. Actually it was only $8,500 or so, but my wife suggested we kick in the rest. So my thanks go out to Rachel, my love (and former EDITOR of this very manuscript!). Anyway, mailed the check today. It’s my good deed for the day. Now I HAVE to go work out!

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!