National Poetry Month Party: Featuring Morris Taylor, Author of Nine Lives of Morris: Great Tales from One Cool Cat


Morris Taylor
Morris Taylor

Monday, April 11, 2016 || 6pm
Book Passage || San Francisco
1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||

Please, one and all, join us for a very special National Poetry Month celebration along with Left Coast Writers and Southern Sampler Artists Colony poets as we celebrate along with Morris Taylor in the publication of his extraordinary word/image memoir Nine Lives of Morris: Great Tales from One Cool Cat. In it Morris has collected poems, tales and images of his varied life. The thirty narratives recount episodes from his childhood in the Great Depression of the 1930’s to his eighty-fifth birthday. Forty of his original watercolors illustrate the 124-page book in full color. Four photographic montages picture various aspects of Morris career as a concert pianist, a professor of music, a watercolorist and leather man.

From the first memoir, which tells about finding his biological father’s family in Appalachia, to the last memoir, which tells about marrying a man, the author hugs his reader. As a child Morris discovers many aspects of his personhood. Through experiences in the U. S. Army and World War II, Morris tells his tales. Morris reveals the sorrow of soul upon the fatal accident of his wife and the suicide of his gay son, Leonard. He shares the spiritual journey as a Seventh-day Adventist in raising up a church only to find out how difficult it is to find his own place as a gay man. Morris shares the adventures of his retirement years when he joins the leather community with vigor and starts a new career as a watercolor artist. Even when diagnosed with cancer of the bone marrow, the author maintains his equilibrium and honesty. The nine disparate elements do not tear apart the protagonist. Rather than disintegrate, Morris thrives as he integrates his roles as a Child, Pianist, Artist, Soldier, Father, Missionary, Professor, Gay Man, Master and Leatherman.

Readers will include: Todd Crawshaw, Linda Watanabe McFerrin and other LCW and SSAC poets.

Morris Taylor is a contemporary version of the Renaissance man. Throughout his fourscore and more years he has displayed a keen interest and considerable skill in the arts, religion, family and leather life style. As a musician, he has traveled the world giving classical piano concerts, master classes and lectures. His writing achievements range from scholarly papers in musicology to incisive poetry relating gentle nature to gritty life. In retirement years, Taylor has become a watercolor artist. His twenty-five one-person shows range from San Francisco’s Grace Episcopal Cathedral to the Center for Sex and Culture. On May 21, 2015, he exhibited his erotic watercolors at Chicago’s Leather Archives and Museum. For four decades Doctor Taylor was on the faculty of Christian universities. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Music. In the capacity of his missionary credential, he has taught Bible classes for youth and adults and raised up a Seventh-day Adventist church in Appalachia. With his wife Elaine he toured as a duo-piano team. When their four kids were young, they fit into the back of the station wagon when their parents were on tour. When the children grew to be teens, Lucille, Leonard, Lowell and Lyndon became the prominent Taylor String Quartet winning national prizes and touring under management.

In his sixties Morris has acted upon his inherent homosexuality. He came out simultaneously as a kinky person into sado-masochism into the leather life style. Probably he is the oldest title holder in that community, International Master 2013. A documentary film is being made of Taylor’s life.