The poems in The Downstairs Dance Floor are inhabited by family survivors––a father and mother widowed early, who in a second marriage made the best of their losses; the only child of that marriage; a distant uncle who devoted his life to music; a widowed stepfather in his declining years; others who, when the time comes, look for meaning in living alone. The other main character in this collection is, of course, Death. Using old family photos, letters, and anecdotes from friends and family members, the poet tries to imagine the unsatisfied dreams of those no longer able to tell their own stories.
TAYLOR GRAHAM earned an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California. She has been a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler for the past thirty years; she and her husband, Hatch, have responded to hundreds of missions with their trained German Shepherds.
What Readers Are Saying:
"The Downstairs Dance Floor is a collection that moves a cast of characters—mother, father, step-father, child—from old photographs to lives tenuously clung to in contemporary nursing homes. Graham's compassion for her elders bespeaks her own sense of mortality, and every poem here captures the exact details— the position of hands in a snapshot or the pieces of an unfinished jigsaw puzzle—that reveal a mature talent. Dancing effortlessly through forms as demanding as the pantoum and villanelle, Graham transforms memory into the memorable." --R.S. Gwynn, Series Judge