About Harvey Taylor

Press Perspectives

"...his verse is the equivalent of Mission style furniture: simple and unadorned, built to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life...many poems are inspired by nature or the 'developmentally disabled' people he works with, or his background as a longshoreman..."

Mary McCauley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 6, 1995

"Harvey Taylor, winner of the Shepherd-Express Readers' Choice Awards as Best Milwaukee Poet, has published a new collection of verse, Imagine. It's easy to understand why he's popular in a relatively unpretentious town like Milwaukee. The 51 poems and song lyrics comprising Imagine are as plain and solid as a good conversation over a cup of coffee. Look elsewhere, if you must, for highfalutin allusionsand exercises in academic obscurity. Taylor's poems, often funny and unfailingly meaningful, show the grain of everyday life leavened with profound contemplation."

Dave Luhrssen, Shepherd-Express, December 19, 1996

"...much of Harvey Taylor's poety in his last cycle of publications has to do with the impact on his soul of the death of his dad. The titles of his three most recent collections, Everything Is Different Now, The Luminosity of Souls, and Singing In The Graveyard, invoke a spiritual relationship that transcends mortality...Rumi-like ruminations concerning the Friend-who just happens to be related to him. Suffusing his work is the simultaneous pain of the Self over the loss of the Other and the joy of the Self in finding the Other in all that it beholds...I submit that we have, in Harvey Taylor, a living landmark and our very own Colossus of the Milwaukee arts, one foot planted squarely on the docks of Jones Island, and the other in Riverwest Bohemia, one hand tenderly holding on to the past, and the other busily waving in the future..."

Steven Wiest, Shepherd-Express, April 19, 2001

"...the audience gets a gift of magical word spells reflecting this down-to-earth yet soulful city and its people..."

Julie Ann Herringa, Shepherd-Express, December 2001

"Their heads swayed and bodies moved to the music, as the leader of the band increased the tempo on his drum and led his joy-filled musicians into a fervent beat. But the magic was not just in the music.

"Robin's giving us a nice beat to play along with. Keep it up, Robin! Okay, quietly now, like you're whispering." Harvey Taylor, instructor for Very Special Arts-Wisconsin, said to his students, who all held instruments of their own, including maracas, tambourines, sticks, or handbells.

Visual art, dancing, writing, singing, and playing music are things many people take for granted, but for children and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities, participation in these creative outlets may be nothing less than an enchanting experience.

Very Special Arts, 3211 S. Superior St., located in the Marion Center for Non-profits, is a national organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission is to "expand the capabilities, confidence, and quality of life for children and adults with disabilities." Taylor, a local musician and poet who teaches for VSA, has worked in the special needs' field for twelve years, adapting his methods to accommodate individual circumstances; he said he is often "surprised by people's ability to transcend what I thought was their limit." Witnessing those moments when people soar past his expectations is one of the great rewards of his work."

Colleen Grogan, The Bay Viewer

"After writing 30 books of poems and stories, Harvey Taylor has won local adoration and three Best Poet awards from the Shepherd Express. Almost daily, he opens his shaman's soul and storytelling heart to work with Very Special Arts-Wisconsin and other community organizations. The multi-talented Taylor is also a prolific musician and songwriter whose newest work, Windows & Doors, includes song lyrics as well as poems."

Julie Ann Herringa, Shepherd-Express, December 5, 2002