Mali’s performance excites and inspires

Mali’s performance excites and inspires

Photo credit/ Kelly Anne Rafferty

Victoria Garafola, Staff Writer

Taylor Mali performed at Marywood University on March 19, reading such poems as “Girls Lending Pens,” “Like Lilly Like Wilson,” and “Bohdisattva.” His performance was attended by student and faculty alike.

English/secondary education major, Brianna Salvi, introduced Mali to the crowd. After the performance, Salvi said, “It was… enlightening, exciting, and encouraging. It excited me in ways I can’t even explain for teaching.”

Prior to the show, Mali conducted a poetry workshop centered around performance poetry and adding strength to language through, what Mali described as, “artful” descriptions, “musicality,” and “honesty.”

Mali also had dinner with several members of the student body and faculty. During his meal, Mali spoke about a variety of subjects ranging from politics and education to depression and travel. Students spoke to Mali about his passion for teaching and his reasons for leaving the classroom.

“It’s a good question: why I don’t still teach, if that’s what I write about. On the other hand, I just had you in class for an hour, so you of all people, ought to know that I have never stopped,” said Mali.

Since he left teaching in 2000, Mali has been touring the world, performing poetry and teaching at various locations. Mali said that he would be leaving later in the week to teach English in the Middle East.

English professor, Dr. Agnes Cardoni, was impressed by his performance. “His energy and his love of words, both on the page and on the stage are gifts he shared with us, with grace and style,” said Cardoni.

Mali met with students after the performance to sign books and answer questions During the performance, Mali also auctioned an uncorrected proof of his unreleased book, “What Teachers Make.” The book sold for $100 dollars and all proceeds were donated to the American Cancer Society in honor of Taylor Mali’s mother.