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.
As a collection of politically engaged poetry for the 21st century, Nude Descending and Empire develops the lyrical voice of a citizen-poet speaking to the urgency of our contemporary moment, especially its ecological crisis. This is a book that brings all the supposed sensitivity of poetry into contact with the world we actually live in—with all its crises, madness, and modernity—and insists that we feel it all. A reader will recognize many of the urgent political issues of our time, yet will find them re-inhabited and transformed here by the imaginative power of poetry. Our great ecological crisis is cast as the fulfillment of a long history of violence, domination, lies, and alienation—in one word, empire—and the book suggests that a livable future requires that we wholly inhabit our body-heart-mind and discover a new paradigm.