Sam Taylor is the author of the poetry collection Body of the World, a finalist for ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year. He has received the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, the Dobie Paisano Fellowship, the James Michener Fellowship, and fellowship residencies from Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center, among other honors. Taylor is an assistant professor of creative writing at Wichita State University. He spent three years as a caretaker in a remote wildlife refuge, an experience that inspires the ecological engagement of this work.
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(Author photo by D. H. Riley)
“Sam Taylor’s Nude Descending an Empire is a book that has large ambitions—and overwhelmingly succeeds at all of them. The voice here works at so many dimensions: spiritual, political, erotic, sensually worldly and quietly lyrical... I love how he curses and praises and sexes in the same poem, often in the same moment.”
“Once in a while a book appears that seems forged from the truth. This is one. The poems entirely bypass the Adventures of Self so common in contemporary poetry. They take head-on the end of nature, for one thing, and the significance of human life in a world changing so perilously fast that it’s barely recognizable from one moment to the next. More than a few poems made me wish I’d written them.”
“Bountifully true to both the exploration of intimacy and physicality implied by Nude AND to the unpacking of the public and political implied by Empire, Sam Taylor's new book is a wonder, by turns riding the crest of our immediate American nano-moment and channeling the vatic voice of ancient wisdom. These are poems for the long haul: they replenish us.”
“Nude Descending an Empire is a stunning book, in all the varied shades of ‘stun.’ The nude descending an empire enacts an apocalyptic prophecy where the earth’s inhabitants are scampering about barefoot and naked sheltering in the shades of the towers they had competed to build. But Sam Taylor is too astute a poet to only horrify us with the facts, with the impending damage. His voice is elegiac for all of us, for life on this planet, and his ironic sleights of hands point to the end of irony, apathy, or whatever we call the unconscionable ways that have sustained our consumption and violence.”
University of Pittsburgh Press