Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano featuring Dena Taylor

Dena Reads from her book Exclamation Points

A Poignant Memoir in Verse

Santa Cruz County poet Dena Taylor new book Exclamation Points is a poignant memoir in verse. In response to her publisher’s (Kate Hitt of Many Names Press) request for a poetry manuscript, Dena reviewed her poems, written over a lifetime, ordered them chronologically and wrote her marvelous bitter sweet book. This is my second interview with Dena. The first interview was about her book written with her daughter, Becky Taylor, called Tell Me the Number Before Infinity.

Dena Taylor and Nina Serrano on Zoom

In this current Zoom interview

In this current Zoom reading and interview, Dena reads poems written as a young mother, an empty nester and a grandmother, sharing the telling moments of the bitter sweet poignancy of life. As Jory Post, publisher and co-founder of phren-z literary magazine noted in her review:

“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, … and disability placards. A daughter says, “She’s glad I’m there. Saying it more than once.”… 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.”

Exclamation Points is published by Many Names Press and is available through books stores and on line.

About Nina Serrano: Nina Serrano 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 86 remains vitally engaged in inspiring change and exploring her abundant creativity. For more information go to ninaserrano.com or contact her publisher at estuarypress.com. 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, paulrichards@estuarypress.com or visit estuarypress.com for more details.

MEDIA – For photos & interviews: Paul Richards (510) 967 5577; paulrichards@estuarypress.com

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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.com or contact her publisher at estuarypress.com. For more detailed information about Nina see About Nina on her website.

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