In the Beginning…

Cover

“The power of the extracted image and the power of a timeless story…” says Simon Pettet, author of Lyrical Poetry. Mary Lou Taylor’s newest publication, In the Beginning brings you Biblical tales—a combination of the poet’s precise meditations on David Park’s delicately sinuous artistry, titled “Genesis Suite.”

This slender publication, put together by Frog on the Moon, A small press, consists of “fourteen stencil prints making a perfect thematic language to tell Bible stories,” as Grace Cavalieri from the Library of Congress puts it. She says, “I love Taylor’s In The Beginning—colorful and meaningful—complete with stunning worlds and visuals; it seems neither poem nor picture could live without the other.” Furthermore, Cavalieri says, “this is bright speech invested in lyric; with sheer lingual strength to make old legends new.”

In this new publication, you will find new poems by Mary Lou Taylor, who was inspired by David Park’s “Genesis Suite“, and as Grace Cavalieri mentions, “has formed a legacy you’ll come back to, for enlightenment and delight. You’ll want to reread, savor, and share this work of art…for the purest pleasure.”

In addition, here are comments from our First Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, (2009-2011) Nils Peterson, Professor Emeritus, San José State University. “To the exquisite prints created by David Park out of stories from Genesis, Mary Lou Taylor adds poems that give context and commentary. Sometimes she even speaks the imagined voices of the actors in that great drama. Together they make a remarkable book, a beautiful book, one that you will want on your shelf to look at and read again and again.

SOME POEMS FROM “IN THE BEGINNING” by Mary Lou Taylor.

Shape 

THE CURSE OF CAIN

Cain tilled the earth. Abel kept sheep.

Lord, I bring you fruits from the fertile ground.
Accept them with my respect and love. Cain knelt
before his God in reverential pose.

God refused his offering. I see your brother’s
blood in your mouth. You are a man of wrath.
I accept only Abel’s sheep. Cain became enraged.

Meeting Abel, blood in his eye, Cain lifted a stone.
I am bleeding, brother. Leave me enough to live.
But Cain no longer listened.

God questioned Cain. Where is your brother Abel?
Cain replied, I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?
Cain the first murderer; Able the first to die.

The Lord cursed Cain, saying, You have contaminated
the earth with your brother’s blood. It will no longer
be fruitful in your hands.

Cain left the Lord, banished now to wander, traveling
to the land of Nod, east of Eden.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

DAVID PARK (March 17, 1911-September 20, 1960) was an American painter and a pioneer of the Bay Area Figurative Movement in painting during the 1950’s. A Park retrospective opens later this year at the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art. It comes to SFMOMA in 2020.

Check out other paintings by this artist on the video in this blog.

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DID I MENTION?

I entered my new book of poems, Bringing Home the Moon in the 2016 San Francisco Book Festival. Came in second in Honorable Mention. A good feeling because this competition has so many entrants.

2016 SF Book Fest

I am so pleased to share this with my friends.

MARY LOU AND THE KING

Mary Lou Taylor will be at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library for yet another reading of her book of poems, Bringing Home the Moon. Mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 19th, 2016—meaning, TOMORROW, at 5:00 p.m. The reading will be at the Schiro Room 550, at the King Library, on San Fernando and 4th Street. Check the flyer for further details about dinner following the reading. RSVP at mltpoet85@gmail.com.

Make this your special event for April—Poetry Month.

MLT flyer-sm

EVERLASTING SUNSHINE AND SPRING BLOSSOMS IN SARATOGA

pink blossoms

MARCH beckons attention to the 2016 Blossom Festival in the town of Saratoga, a free event reminiscent of the original Blossom Festival that debuted in the 1900s and has stayed popular and celebrated each year, for over 40 years. Edwin Sidney (Everlasting Sunshine) Williams organized a celebration when the drought ended and called it the Blossom Festival. Wanting people to enjoy the orchards blossoms, invitations were issued and hundreds responded. The day was filled with food, games, and a blossom and garden tour. Each succeeding year, the event grew in popularity with 20,000 attending one year.

Produced by the Saratoga Historical Foundation, this free event will be celebrated this year on Saturday, March 19 from 10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. in the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area.

Warren Hutton House I will be reading at the Festival at 11:00 a.m. along with past Poet Laureates, Parthenia Hicks (Los Gatos), Nils Peterson (Santa Clara County), and Dave Denny (Cupertino). The reading will be held at the Warren Hutton House on 13777-A Fruitvale Ave.in Saratoga.

Please do attend and partake in the music of the 30’s and 40’s, vintage motors, a variety of foods, arts and crafts that will bring back memories of yesteryear. Check out my previous post about the 2014 Blossom Festival to get a feel for this celebration.

orange blsms

POETRY WITH MARY LOU TAYLOR at the Montalvo Writer Series: Sunday, November 8, 2015

Join me on Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.at the Historic Villa at Montalvo Arts Center, where I’ll be reading from my new book, Bringing Home the Moon, published Aldrich Press, 2015. This event is FREE! Books will be available for purchase; beer and wine will be for sale, and light refreshments will be served. But first—please RSVP at the Montalvo site. All MUST RSVP at the Montalvo site. You can click the button to reach the Montalvo website.
ClickHere

Hope all of you can attend. See what some of my poet friends have to say about my new book, Bringing Home the Moon: Cover Art: Chuck Drew.

Bringing Home

“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.”

“We float through moments formative or formidable, touching or frightful, but all…lit with generous spirit and a graceful love of language” —Harry Lafnear

“This is THE poetry collection of the year!” —David Denny, first Poet Laureate of Cupertino

MLT at Montalvo

BRINGING HOME THE MOON

MY SECOND BOOK, A REALITY!

Bringing Home Two days ago two boxes appeared on our front porch. Inside were copies of Bringing Home the Moon, a poetry book that’s been ten years in the making. I finished much of it at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga as an artist in residence. But sometimes illness interferes, and this past year I’ve worked on the book sporadically, set it up, chosen the poems, and sent it to a couple of presses with time to spare. I’ve been pretty well housebound.

It was Dave Denny, first Poet Laureate of Cupertino, who made the difference. He suggested a press down south that he thought might be interested. They were. It took several months and some tough proofreading and editing (I still can’t figure out how to number pages.), but the book looks good and reads well. I thank Karen Kelsay, my editor at Aldrich Press, for going out of her way to work with me.

One poet friend talked of what we hoped to get from a writing group. I have three: Peerless Poets, Poetry Salon, and Poetry Circle. And I learn from all each time we meet. My friend’s strategy for structuring a poem is what I ended up using in the new book. The book provides a set of stepping stones for readers to follow as they make their way from the opening to the ending. I used some of the poems from my first book to make the new book flow. It has three sections. The first deals with living in Chicago and moving finally to Los Angeles. Then the big move to what now is called Silicon Valley. The last section is a gallimaufry of this and that. It ends with a few poems on Space, big in Silicon Valley.

Blurb Back Cover Art: Chuck Drew

Published by
Kelsay Books, Aldrich Press, 2015

Photograph of Moon: WebMaster
RealMoon

FRINGE BENEFITS

My friend Calder Lowe got after me to enter my “old” book, The Fringes of Hollywood, in the 2014 Hollywood Book Festival. I thought why not.

bk-fringes

The news came today. Can’t believe it, but Jack and I will be staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood on the 26th of July, 2014.

Roosevelt

My book, The Fringes of Hollywood, got into the Wild Card awards as an Honorable Mention. So that goes with an invitation to mingle with the other winners at the Awards ceremony, to accept the award, and to say a few words.

Here are the WILD CARD winners:

WILD CARD:
WINNER: Down One Side and Up the Other – Peter Shikli
RUNNER-UP: Law of the Desert Born: A Graphic Novel – Louis L’amour (adapted by Charles Santino, et al)



HONORABLE MENTIONS:

• Private Svoboda – Steven R. Roberts with Alexander von Svoboda
• Adventure Inward – Jonathan Wunrow
• 8 Keys to Wholeness – Donna DeNomme
• The Undiscovered Goddess – Michelle Colston
• Swanson at Sundown – Jack Ryan
• L.A. a la Cart – Richard Asperger
The Fringes of Hollywood – Mary Lou Taylor
• The United States of Theocracy – Janet K. Humphreys, Ph.D
• Murder in the Haunted House – Carolee Russell
• Time and Forever – Susan B. James
• Surveillance on the Down-Low – W.M. Sanguine

Another winner is Audry Lynch for her book on John Steinbeck and James Dean, The Rebel Figure in American Literature and Film: The Interconnected Lives of John Steinbeck and James Dean.

The Rebel Figure

I was fortunate enough to review it, and the reviews were published in Pen Woman and in Steinbeck Gazette. 
Steinbeck Remembered

HollywoodSignJAN09