Mary Lou Taylor spotted a notice in the Saratoga News in the late ‘70’s, a poetry class offered by Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California, taught by Naomi Clark. By 1981 she was a board member of Poetry Center San Jose and has been active in PCSJ ever since, serving two terms as president. Currently she serves as a docent at the Markham House, PCSJ’s headquarters at History Park in San Jose´.
Taylor’s first book of poems, The Fringes of Hollywood, was published by Jacaranda Press in December of 2002. Her work appears in the anthology Cotton and Spirit, Frog on the Moon Press, 2006, and will be published in two upcoming works: The Call: an Anthology of Women Writers, published by Dragonfly Press in 2009, and in Remembering: an Anthology of Poems Read at Willow Glen Books to be published in early 2010. Taylor’s work has also appeared in several journals and small presses.
Mary Lou Taylor was born in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Los Angeles when she was eleven, attending St. Mary’s Academy and UCLA. Both cities and schools gave her her sense of place in poetry and shaped her early poems. She married, had two children, and moved to Silicon Valley when her husband’s company opened an office there. She obtained her degree in English and received a Standard Secondary credential at San Jose´State University. Her teaching career at Monta Vista and Fremont High Schools ended in the ‘90’s, and she began to write poems.
In addition to poetry, Taylor is an editor and reviewer. She continues to be involved with the Markham House, sponsoring a native plant garden at Edwin Markham’s former home. She serves on the Program Committee at Montalvo and is a trustee for the Center for Literary Arts at San Jose´State University.
The first book Taylor bought with her first paycheck was Untermeyer’s A Treasury of Great Poems, English and American. Coincidentally, that was the first book Rita Dove came upon which began her poetry life. For those who love poetry and who attempt to be poets, writing can be a way of life. At the moment, Taylor is finishing a new manuscript, Finite Infinity, and is seeking a press to publish the wealth of poetry by famous poets on movies and the Hollywood scene.