Betts

Tara Betts, author of three poetry collections-Break the Habit, Arc & Hue, and the forthcoming Refuse to Disappear. She co-edited The Beiging of America: Personal Essays About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century and edited a new critical edition of Adventures in Black and White, the long out-of-print memoir by Harlem-born, interracial child prodigy Philippa Duke Schuyler. Tara will participate in a Critical Writing Residency in the 2018-2019 Core Residency Program at the Chicago Art Department. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. In addition to representing Chicago on two slam teams, Tara won the 1999 Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award. She appeared on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam," Jessica Care Moore's "Spoken," and WBEZ, Chicago's NPR affiliate.

Tara holds an MFA from New England College and a Ph.D. in English from Binghamton University. As an educator, Tara started her teaching career in Chicago by working with organizations like Young Chicago Authors, Gallery 37, AfterSchoolMatters, FreeWrite Arts & Literacy, and many others. While teaching on the East Coast, she worked with young poets at Urban Word NYC and taught at Rutgers University. Dr. Betts currently works with students at ChiArts High School, Chicago State University, and participants in the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project at Stateville Prison.

Talks and presentations include:

  • Women in Hip Hop
  • Formal Poetry by Writers of Color
  • The Sampling of African American Women's Voices
  • Teaching in community-based spaces 

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