Ten years in the making, Bringing Home the Moon is Taylor’s second book. It traces her life path from her childhood in Chicago to her subsequent moves to Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.
“Mary Lou is one of my favorite poets,” raves Grace Cavalieri, radio host of The Poet and the Poem.” In Bringing Home the Moon, we have her past experience turned into poems boldly planned and implemented through the prism of memory . . . . These are beautifully proportioned recollections you will read and then revisit.”
Mary Lou Taylor is a most generous writer. In Bringing Home the Moon, she shares with us her loves, her laughs and the stories of her travels. With lyrical honesty she shares with the reader what it was like for her to have been brought up in the hardscrabble days following the great depression, and to have made the transition to the bright lights of L.A. and the big move to Silicon Valley and beyond.
Mary Lou Taylor is a poet of California, and her poems are just as big-hearted, open-minded, and diverse as the state itself. These wise poems draw upon memories of childhood, travel, and life in our state both South and North. My favorites capture the ethos and essence of the Los Angeles movie community and Silicon Valley pioneers, evoking an easy blend of public and private life.
Anne Dunham She reflects on our history—“The Valley of Heart’s Delight” and “Heart’s Delight Turns Silicon”
We all have much to learn. Always with a twinkle in her eyes, Mary Lou Taylor helps us do this and much more in her latest book of poetry, Bringing Home the Moon.
Long ago, but not far away at Monta Vista High School, I found myself in front of classes of high school students. Next door was another teacher, Mary Lou. I learned more from her, and from my students, than they did from me. We have now been friends for decades. Her new book captures her life and ours.
“We don’ talk, my father and I content together at this ungodly hour . . . ,” or “Selling the house. Buying a new one . . . .”
She reflects on our history—“The Valley of Heart’s Delight” and “Heart’s Delight Turns Silicon”, the place we both still live. And even on “Driving Bohlman Road’, the challenging road to our house.
She explores the globe and beyond—“Drinks after Dinner, Osaka”, and even the universe ”. . . Christa McAuliffe, scheduled to be the first teacher in space, looks upward to gaze at the face of the sky.”
She probes the inner thoughts we all have. It is well worth traveling these hundred pages with Mary Lou.
She is all of us. She will help you find your voice.
THE FRINGES OF HOLLYWOOD
2002, Jacaranda Press, San José, California
The Fringes of Hollywood is a collection of poems about growing up in Hollywood.
“Dressed in purple satin,” these poems are a Requiem Mass for trading cards, Marilyn Monroe, Stan Kenton’s band, and cleavage itself. Mary Lou Taylor’s poetry chronicles popular culture in America; in moves back in forth across time like a novel, from the hand of a master writer whose world is real enough to occupy. Taylor’s past is not the end of an era but one where it all begins, as we read and reread to make it our own.
—Grace Cavalieri, Producer/host, The Poet and the Poem.
This is a fascinating book, one to return to again and again, as the mystery of a single life illuminates our larger history. The language is the language of poetry—authentic, original, insightful, enlightened, and passionate. In The Fringes of Hollywood, the imagined and the real are inextricably intertwined. As Borges teaches us, and as Mary Lou Taylor reminds us, “The beginning of literature is myth, and the end also.”
— Ed Smallfield, author,
The Pleasures of C
These are shapely, artful, savvy poems filled with humor and occasionally tinged with the sorrow of maturity.
—Phyllis Koestenbaum, author,
Doris Day and Kitschy Melodies
The Fringes of Hollywood evokes the exoticism of a David Lynch film: the chiaroscuro of haloed light in devotional art, the intensity of a match struck in a darkened corridor, and the hypnotic clarity of a lucid dream. Mary Lou Taylor has succeeded in reanimating the California landscape, forging an indissoluble connection between the power of place, attenuated grief, and the geography of the heart’s longing.
—Calder Lowe, Executive Editor,
The Montserrat Review
Mary Lou Taylor’s poetry gives us front row seats to a tough working class childhood medicated with pop culture. Her unabashed nostalgia, her delight in make-believe and Shirley Temple memorabilia, authenticate just how much of a hold our TV screens and movie screens have over us. The Fringes of Hollywood is all-Americana—complex storytelling in stunningly exact imagery.
—Denise Duhamel, author,
Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems