Sally T. Taylor: Mormon Poet
Sally Thorne Taylor is an award-winning poet and retired English professor. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Taylor was born in 1938 in Salt Lake City and raised in Provo, Utah. She graduated with honors from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in 1960. She also earned her master’s degree at BYU and her PhD at the University of Utah, where she specialized in Shakespeare. She presented papers on Shakespeare in many places in the United States as well as in Australia and Finland.
She joined the faculty of the BYU English department in 1978 and retired in 2004. She published a Freshman English textbook that went into three editions with Harcourt Brace and a textbook for technical writing. She loved teaching and received an Alcuin teaching award. She also delivered a campus devotional address on November 5, 1996.
Taylor is a member of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics and of the Academy of American Poets. Her poetry has been published in numerous publications, including Creative Juices, Conservative Review, Hob-Nob, Harvest: Contemporary Mormon Poems, and BYU Studies. She was the poetry editor of BYU Studies from 1992 to 1993. She published a book-length collection of poetry entitled A Little Light at the Edge of Day. She wrote several nonfiction books about writing, including The Critical Eye: Thematic Readings for Writers, and penned essays that were published in the Ensign Magazine and the New Era Magazine. Her series of seven sonnets on Joseph Smith, Jr., were set to music by Murray Boren and performed on Temple Square.
She and her husband, David, served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ to French Guiana in South America in 1993–94, where she taught literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL), and the missionary discussions. When they completed their mission, she taught literacy at Project Read. She and her husband served a two-year service/leadership mission to the Lakeview Manor Branch, Lakeview Stake, in Orem, Utah from 2006 to 2008.
The Taylors have four children. She served as the Orem City Parent Teacher Association president. She has also served as president of the State League of Utah Writers.