Devorah Major on Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano

First African-American Poet Laureate of San Francisco

Devorah Major at 100 Birthday Celebratioin of Lawrence Ferlingetti 2019, San Francisco Public Library.

Devorah Major at 100 Birthday Celebration of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 2019, San Francisco Public Library.

This episode of Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano, features Devorah Major, the first African-American poet laureate of San Francisco who served from 2002-2006 as the city’s 3rd Poet Laureate. This 2nd generation San Francisco poet’s work is both powerful and moving. Her father was the poet Reginald Major.

In this recording Devorah reads and discusses her poetry with me, Nina Serrano. It was recently aired on KPFA (94.1 fm), Berkeley, on July 10, 2019 and on OZCAT RADIO (89.5 fm), Vallejo, July 11, 2019. My interview was recorded in 2016  and is presented here again for your enjoyment. I hope to interview her again soon to bring you the more recent work of this extraordinary poet.

Devorah Major is an award winning poet and fiction writer, editor, and professor. She has toured the United States and internationally performing her poetry and sharing her expertise on African-American poetry, Beat Poetry, and poetry of resistance. She has published two novels and four books of poetry.

In 2004 she was given a commission by the Oakland East Bay Symphony to collaborate with composer Guillermo Galindo to create and perform in Trade Route, a symphony with spoken word and chorus. In 2015 her full length poetry play Classic Black: African Americans in 19th Century San Francisco premiered at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. In addition to university teaching, she was executive director of California Poets in the Schools and also also works with writers to develop their craft.

About Nina Serrano: Nina is a well-known, international prize-winning inspirational author and poet. With a focus on Latino history and culture, she is also a playwright, filmmaker, KPFA talk show host, a former Alameda County Arts Commissioner, and a co-founder of the San Francisco Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Oakland Magazine’s “best local poet” in 2010, she is a former director of the San Francisco Poetry in the Schools program and the Bay Area’s Storytellers in the Schools program. A Latina activist for social justice, women’s rights, and the arts, Nina Serrano at 84 remains vitally engaged in inspiring change and exploring her abundant creativity. For more information go to ninaserrano.comor contact her publisher at For more detailed information about Nina see About Nina on her website.

About Estuary Press: Estuary Press is the publisher of Nicaragua Way. It is also the home of the Harvey Richards Media Archive, a repository of photography and video documentaries of various social change and political movements during the 1960s and 1970s. Contact Paul Richards (510) 967 5577, or visit for more details.

MEDIA – For photos & interviews: Paul Richards (510) 967 5577;

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