Taylor Mali

Keynote: The Flawed But Sacrosanct Odyssey of Teaching

Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and one of the original poets to appear on the HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.” His poem “What Teachers Make” has been viewed over 4 million times on YouTube.

Mali is a vocal advocate of teachers and the nobility of teaching, having spent nine years in the classroom. He has performed and lectured for teachers all over the world, and, in 2012, he reached his goal of creating 1,000 new teachers through “poetry, persuasion, and perseverance.” His book of essays, What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World, is his passionate defense of teachers drawing on his own experiences.

Mali is the author of four books of poetry and four CDs of spoken word. Mali received a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in 2001 to develop “Teacher! Teacher!,” a one-man show about poetry, teaching, and math that won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.