Galway Kinnell's handwritten suggestions for revisions to my poem "Sacraments"

Galway Kinnell's handwritten suggestions for revisions to my poem "Sacraments"

Praise for The World Underneath
"Reading Richard Tayson's The World Underneath rejoices my heart and gives me a little hope for both humanity and poetry.   I read with awe the sequence in which this gay poet attends his sister-in-law's home delivery of a son, after flying 'over one of the nineteen states/ that still puts people like me/in prison.  O Texas, O Tennessee,/ sweet Georgia with your one-to-twenty/ years felony.' Tayson's language is fast-moving, passionate, compassionate--alive with physical, spiritual and political detail that makes him heir to Muriel Rukeyser." --Alicia Suskin Ostriker

"In an age when confessional poetry and the lyric are under greater pressure to submit to the disjunctive, it is ever more pleasing to return to a voice such as Richard Tayson's." --Walter Holland, Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing (and Reviews)

“Richard Tayson sees the world through the eyes of a man dedicated to love.  His poems walk the walk of a poet willing to open that world and look at it for what it is, its joys and terrors, even when he must look at his own dark insides.  I especially rejoice for his poems of intimacy and friendship with women, women who he sees not as ‘other,’ but as people struggling with the same concerns that he has.  This sensibility is a rare contribution to our literature!  In The World Underneath, the poems are all love poems whose beauty and authority convince me of the depth of the poet's journey.  His poems are easy to enter--you may feel that you are talking to a best friend--so easy to enter you might not notice the twin knives of truth and lyricism they have been held up to.” —Toi Derricotte

“Richard Tayson’s The World Underneath is a series of passionate visions, stunning in their directness and emotional power. They bear witness to birth and the body’s miracles, to homophobic violence and unspeakable losses, and to the tensile strength of love and loyalty that connects us against the odds. Awe and fierce anger sing in these poems, as the questing spirit in them seeks to grow large enough to include us all.” ––Joan Larkin

"It’s a rare treat when a poet achieves such mature work as these gritty poems, celebrating his epiphanic moments, among them the miracles of childbirth and his blissful life with his lover.  Even his dark rage against the injustice of homophobic violence comes not out of weakness but from strength.  What makes these poems even more satisfying is how they burst into flame, into verbal explosions, scattering a glitter of magic."
—Edward Field

"With his second book of poetry, Richard Tayson delivers mightily on the promise of his wonderful debut collection, The Apprentice of Fever. . . . While moving through bodies and time and space, while exploring the world underneath facile surfaces, the reader is brought face-to-face with mortaility, hate, and complacency, but also with compassion, understanding, and the higher self." --Lambda Book Report


Praise for The Apprentice of Fever
"The Apprentice of Fever is a brilliantly corporeal first book, focused with lapidary clarity on the transfiguration of quotidian experience, its appetites, its unassuageable longings. . . . Tayson has also created formally complex longer sequences which synthesize the mythic and the erotic and raise them to Rilkean meditations." --Marilyn Hacker

“The superiority affected by elegance in these AIDS days might well achieve its tolerance limit in Mark Doty's poems in My Alexandria. . . .I prefer the blunter lines of "Blood Test," a poem by the emerging poet Richard Tayson. . . .Stagy in its own way, yet genuinely and properly dramatic, Tayson’s [work] evokes and registers in its very form the anxiety and anguish of these AIDS days to about the same degree that Doty's poem is unfailingly about its own 'grace.'"  --Calvin Bedient, Parnassus

“In their attention to mixed ingredients of dailiness, their intimacy and nurturing and angish, the poems bear comparison to Paul Monette’s Love Alone. --Lambda Book Report

“Wherever Tayson’s muse leads him next, his technical virtuosity will make him worth reading.” --Oyster Boy Review

“Tayson is exposed and controlled.” --The Village Voice


Praise for Look Up for Yes
"Ms. Tavalaro's enormous capacity to battle devastating misfortune is on display in her memoir, Look Up for Yes, written with the poet Richard Tayson.  But her gifts extend beyond a fierce will for self-recognition, for she is endowed with extraordinary powers  of memory and description that enable her to convey her experiences vividly" --The New York Times, "Books in Brief"

“It’s unusual for a true-life story that does not involve murder to be as gripping as this one.” --Knoxville News Sentinel

"Readers may find it profoundly troubling, though not surprising, that attitudes still lag behind technology.  Still, Tavalaro's continuing fight for her independent self benefits us all.  Recommended."  --Library Journal

"This spirited soul teaches us about astonishing determination and intellect.  Her reminder:  'No one knows how dark the night is until you can't speak into it.'" --Rocky Mountain News

“The story of [Julia Tavalaro’s] courage testifies to the endurance of the human spirit” --Publishers Weekly

"A true story of unbelievable courage and persistence." --Booklist

"Worthy for the powerful insight it gives into the lives of the disabled" -- Kirkus Reviews



Queens Chronicle
Time Out New York