On Our Shelves Now (Please note: This book cannot be returned.)
EXCLAMATION POINTS: COLLECTED POEMS by Dena Taylor of Santa Cruz county, California, born in 1941, is her first book of poems as memoir from her early childhood to time of covid-19, July, 2020. Full of humanity, witty, poignant and humorous, these are extraordinary perspectives about her daughters, grandchildren, family, friends, relationships, travel experiences and political wisdom.
About the Author
Dena Taylor is retired from careers in education and social work. She is the co-author, with Becky Taylor, of "Tell Me the Number Before Infinity: the story of a girl with a quirky mind, an eccentric family, and oh yes, a disability", and the author, editor, or co-editor of six books on women’s issues. She lives in Northern California.
Dena Taylor has written the book of poems that every poet wants to write, a collection that takes us through a life, each poem a memory, like photos in an album. She recalls clearly her childhood memories, and later as a mother and a grandmother, and in between, the poems of luscious woman song. It is the story of a life, a memoir told in tight poetic form. -- Claire Braz-Valentine, poet and playwright
In "Exclamation Points", Dena Taylor cracks open her heart, invites us to sit with her under a family tree of mothers and fathers and daughters and grandkids. With a mind required to observe and share everything, we watch her daughters grow with rainbows, mosquito bites, matzo balls, and disability placards. A daughter says, “She’s glad I’m there. Saying it more than once.” A three-year old grandson learning to ride a bike is told of “the importance of starting with one pedal up.” Taylor carves the memory of her parents with a deft blade. “The time since he died is full of things I want to tell him,” she says of her father. And of her mother, “I would give both my breasts to keep you here.” Sprinkled with whiskey, weed, and wine, Taylor’s fearless approach to living a full life showcases the depths of love, grief, and remembrance. In “Don’t Forget” she says, “Savor everything, be glad you were born, be very glad.” This road map Taylor has crafted with eyes wide open, welcomes us as passengers on her unique journey. --Jory Post, publisher and co-founder of "phren-z" literary magazine and author of "The Extra Year" and "Of Two Minds".
In "EXCLAMATION POINTS", Dena Taylor shares her vision of the world, her life as it unfolds, her love of family, heritage, nature and the mysteries and discoveries of each day passing. Literate and compelling, it celebrates both the beautiful and the sorrowful in language which is startlingly disciplined and yet as open as a journal left for us all to read. A beautiful blend of memory, exploration, gratitude and joy. --Wilma Marcus Chandler, "The Night Bridge".
Beginning in childhood, through coming of age, the on-going motherhood years from infants into adults, on through loss of parents, becoming a grandmother, moving toward her 80s – this is a sparse, deep, haiku-like telling of one woman’s rich, complex, fully embodied life. --Julie Olsen Edwards, Founding faculty, Women's Studies, Cabrillo College. Co-author "Anti-bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves"