Henry Taylor was born in 1942 in rural Virginia and has lived most of his life there. His poems are full of gentle humor and often address time and change. Taylor is an avid horseback rider and has written about horses and country living. He is the author of the poetry collections The Horse Show at Midnight (1966) and Pulitzer Prize-winning The Flying Change (1985), which takes its title from the shift in gait a horse can make while cantering. He also wrote Brief Candles (2000), a collection of clerihews: four-line poems that are miniature biographies in rhymed couplets, with the subject’s name mentioned in the first line. Living in his home state of Virginia, Henry Taylor was the co-director of the MFA program at American University until his retirement in 2003.
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"POL has opened my mind to many kinds of poetry. Before competing, my experience with poetry was limited to Dr. Seuss. I now find myself making literary references, having analytical conversations with my peers and mentors about poetry, and recalling poems throughout my day."