Friday, January 18, 2008

Celebrating The Life Of Alexander "Sandy" Taylor

Please join us in celebrating the life of Alexander "Sandy" Taylor on Sunday, February 3rd at 1 pm in the Betty Tipton Room located in the Student Center on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, CT.

For more information, call 860-423-5110, or for directions, please visit

Alexander "Sandy" Taylor: A Great Loss, A Great Life

Alexander "Sandy" D. Taylor, 76, of Willimantic died Friday December 21, 2007 in Windham Hospital. Taylor was the founder and co-director of Curbstone Press of Willimantic, and a leading light in the world of independent publishing. A teacher of English for over thirty years, and a translator of Danish literature, his own poetry has been published in English, Danish, Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian. Sandy and his wife Judith Ayer Doyle founded Curbstone Press in 1975, a non-profit literary publishing house focusing on works expressing a commitment to social awareness, human rights, and peace. With an emphasis on contemporary writing from Latino, Latin American, and Vietnamese cultures, the works produced by this small nonprofit publishing firm garnered an international reputation, founded, in the words of one of its authors, Luis Rodriguez, on giving voice to "writers that other publishers saw as too political, too risky, too experimental, too unknown--yet Curbstone never skimped on quality work." To writers, readers, and his friends, Sandy was, as fellow poet Sam Hamill put it: "a workhorse for peace, for engaged poetry of non-violence, for human dignity."

Rodriguez recently wrote of his personal indebtedness to Sandy, whom he regarded as "a second father."

"I know Sandy's generosity and caring extended to many other writers over many years, who felt his gentle but steady hand on their shoulders pushing them forward, investing and sacrificing so that voices like ours can be heard, appreciated, honored. No writer can ask for more.... Sandy lives on in the people he's touched, cajoled, rallied for, and celebrated. He lives on in his own poetry.... He lives on in the wondrous...small publishing world that he helped create -- where the best of this country still values what matters, and against all odds and economic advice continues to make books that will outlive all of us."

The Press has also built connections between authors and students through programs that brought writers into under-funded schools in the Windham area and across the US to give readings, led poetry workshops, and provided students with personal copies of Curbstone books--sometimes the first book they owned.

Memorial contributions can be made at the event or mailed to Curbstone Press, 321 Jackson Street, Willimantic, CT 06226.

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