AP English 12
11 March 2012
Taylor Mali is debatably one of the most successful and ingenious poetry slam artists of his time. He put his teaching career on hold to lead six of his seven poetry slam teams to the final championship stage and set an all-time record of winning four different times. Taylor is a tenth generation native New Yorker, where he still lives and performs. His powerful and unyielding belief in teachers has helped shape his successful career as a Slam poet, and has also led to many other career opportunities.
Taylor Mali was born in New York City on March 28, 1965. His family has been endemic to the city since the early 1500’s. Being one of four children, he is the descendant of many successes. Mother, Jane L. Mali was a children’s author that received an American Book Award. Father, Henry Allen Mali, was vice president of Henry W.T. Mali & Co., a successful pool table covering manufacturer. Great Grandfather John Taylor Johnston was the founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Taylor, coming from a family full of artistic and literary accomplishment, was bound to make his mark in the world of literature.
Mali graduated from a private collegiate all boys’ school in in 1983. He continued on to Bowdoin College where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1987, then to Kansas State University to earn his Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing, graduating six years later in 1993. Later, Taylor studied drama with the Royal Shakespeare Academy at Oxford. This is where he learned many of his dramatic reading skills, which he uses to bring climax and emotion to his moving poems.
Taylor was married to Rebecca Ruth Tauber, who passed away in 2004. Rebecca was a victim of suicide, devastating Mali, and inspiring many of his poems. Four short years later, on May 13, 2006, he remarried to one of his good high school friends, Marie Elizabeth Mundheim. He spent nine years in the classroom...