califia’s daughter by devorah major (2020)

“…I bow to her tender, iridescent greatness.”

Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate (2015-2017)

July 2020

Willow Books

ISBN 978-1-7330898-9-0

Pre-Order: SHOPIFY

“This is a book of wisdom and whimsy, of mythology sprinkled with stardust. Every poem is a journey into a new desire fleshed out of history’s nightmares and our ancestors’ dreams. This is a devorah major Archana. Those who read tarot will know the power the Archana holds and how they govern. These poems rule a space between history and sea, relativity and dark matters, wombs and weaponry. I will pass these poems around at parties like hors d’oeuvres and tightly rolled joints. Some because they are delicious, others because they alter the state of consciousness. major is a free woman who wrote her own freedom papers in her own blood. Not beholden to some dead and despised rule book of ‘shoulda’ and ‘should nots,’ these poems speak a truth through art without the artifice of linguistic filigree in service to a valueless pedigree. Let these poems wash over you like sea foam and angels’ whispers. They are light and prickly and sweet and sacred. Savor and inhale them all.”

Toni Asante Lightfoot, Host, Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards

“All the dimensions of devorah major’s life and (yours) are here — from the ‘beginning before the beginning,’ galactic particles to the bebopness of our lives. She speaks of being, of becoming, of totality. Is it a journal, an investigation, the life philosophy of a great poet woman? Is it closer to love and color and everythingness beyond measure — intimacy, Big Mind and all-embracing love howling from the brave-bold island of Califia? Can we hold on? Or are we drifting? In this work, devorah charts the infinite music inside of us all. It is so good to read and in-vision devorah’s journeys. After more than four decades of knowing devorah — I bow to her tender, iridescent greatness.” 

–Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate (2015-2017)

devorah major is a California-born “granddaughter of immigrants, documented and undocumented who works as a writer, editor, writing coach, spoken word performer, recording artist, and poetry professor.” The Poet-in-Residence of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, major has toured internationally in places such as Northern and Southern Italy, Bosnia, Jamaica, Venezuela, Belgium, England and Wales, and throughout the United States both performing her poetry and serving on panels speaking on African-American poetry, Beat Poetry, and poetry of resistance. In 2015, major premiered her play, Classic Black: Voices of 19th Century African-Americans in San Francisco at the S.F. International Arts Festival.