William Minor

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William Minor

Goodreads Author

in Pontiac, Michigan, The United States



Member Since
May 2013


William Minor was originally trained as a visual artist (Pratt Institute and U.C.-Berkeley), and exhibited woodcut prints and paintings at the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, and other museums and galleries. His woodcut prints incorporated the text of Russian, Modern Greek, and Japanese poetry--which he also translated.

He began to write poetry as a graduate student in Language Arts at San Francisco State, producing his first book, Pacific Grove, in 1974. Bill has, since that time, published five more books of poetry: For Women Missing or Dead, Goat Pan, Natural Counterpoint (with Paul Oehler), Poet Santa Cruz: Number 4, and Some Grand Dust (Chatoyant Press), for which he

My Year for Writing in San Francisco, Part Two

I devoted Part One of this Blog piece to the thrill of arriving in the city on an ocean-going (or ocean having-gone) ship, passing beneath the early morning (8:30 AM this time) glory of the Golden Gate Bridge, that massive structure overhead as you stand on deck, fully awake with arrival at this most resplendent of destinations in 1965. I also wrote about the immediate impression of the city to wh

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Published on September 14, 2020 15:43
Average rating: 4.74 · 43 ratings · 6 reviews · 9 distinct works
Jazz Journeys to Japan: The...

4.11 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 2004
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The Inherited Heart: An Ame...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2013
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Unzipped Souls: A Jazz Jour...

4.83 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 1995
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Some Grand Dust

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2002
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Trek: Lips, Sunny, Pecker a...

4.80 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2007
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Monterey Jazz Festival: For...

4.83 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 1997 — 2 editions
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Goat Pan: Poems

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1984
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Going Solo: A Memoir: 1953–...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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Gypsy Wisdom: New & Selecte...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2015
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William’s Recent Updates

Osip Mandelstam
“Everything is moved by love.”
Osip Mandelstam, Stone

William Blake
“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Blaise Pascal
“All that is made perfect by progress perishes also by progress.”
Blaise Pascal, Pensées

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Sterling Johnson William Minor's THE INHERITED HEART: AN AMERICAN MEMOIR takes a candid look at one man's individual journey through nearly eight decades of life. Using historical documents, ancestral correspondence, and numerous photographs, it also draws upon his family's collective journey through 400 years of United States history.

The Inherited Heart goes beyond autobiography or history. Like life itself, it's serious, raucous, reflective, dramatic, and often hilarious.

Minor's background is as impressive as it is eclectic: professional jazz musician from the age of seventeen; amateur boxer, artist, poet, novelist, college teacher, and chronicler of jazz on three continents

In the opening paragraph of his preface, he lays out his goal:

"When I was seventeen years old I was, aside from St Paul, the most serious human being ever to walk the face of the earth. When I was seven years old, I was a precocious clown, entertaining my family at dinner with imitations of Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny and material I stole from Milton Berle's Joke Book. I am now of somewhat advanced age and attempting to reconcile not only these two discordant elements in my life--solemnity and playfulness--but others as well."

Writing in an engaging, highly readable style--one that's always informed by warmth, humor, and intelligence--Minor succeeds admirably. The Inherited Heart comes from an open heart, and it tells not only a great American story but a great human story as well.

Sterling Johnson

Gpenley512 "The Inherited Heart" is a great read -
Much more than a family memoir, it is the picture of an inheritance, coming
through the American experience - a picture of a unique family, an ancestry
with ties to the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, John Trowbridge -
wars and good times - down to ' Uncle Ferg ' - ' Precious Lanny (brother ' -
a revered mother and a head-shaker of a father who philosophized,
witted, and did a little soft-shoe in front of the fireplace on family musical
evenings - a father who kept the ancestry and inheritance of the family
alive and well for young William.
The monumental prose that W Minor brings to this book is sculpted with
tenderness, awareness and sensitivity - with a back-ground of bemused,
and often laugh-out-loud humor.
It comes through as a grateful story of love and life through the American
experience George Penley

William Minor Wwcorrigan1999:
The Inherited Heart: An American Memoir
by William Minor (Goodreads Author)

Minor's bloodline, Minor's genes but very much an American Family story. He relates generations of love, triumphs and warmth. As in most families, the warts, scrapes, heartbreak, and skeletons are in full view, too. An engrossing read.

message 2: by David

David The Inherited Heart, An American Memoir

This book gives the colorful past of Bill Minor. It was great to read. My question is how he escaped the traditions of his family. What does it take to find your own way in spite of your surroundings? Do you march to the beat of a different drummer? What keeps you from turning back when you encounter the fear of following a different path than others?

I was intrigued by the contrasts in his experiences and the experiences of his brother. I have not finished the book yet but many questions pop up.


Bobdanziger "Unzipped Souls: A Jazz Journey Through the Soviet Union
by William Minor" is one of my favorite music books of all time. And one of my favorite travel books of all time. And one of my favorite social and political history books of all time. Bill and his wife Betty's travelled through the Soviet Union during a period of profound change, and historic unknowns. Bill somehow records through the lens of jazz these upheavals, hopes and dreams, and does so differently than any other history, because sound emphasizes different. It was a page turner that insights would explode from in the late nights reflections, something this book has in common with most of Bill's works.

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