Saturday, November 14, 2009

Interview with Tara Betts

Tara Betts is the author of Arc and Hue, a Cave Canem fellow, and a graduate of the New England College MFA Program. Her work appears in numerous anthologies and journals such as Ninth Letter, Callaloo, Hanging Loose, Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, and both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies. She represented Chicago twice at the National Poetry Slam, coached youth who went on to Brave New Voices, and appeared on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam". She currently teaches at Rutgers University and leads community-based workshops. She will be reading tomorrow at Sunday Kind of Love

How did you come up with the title? What does Arc & Hue mean?

The title, Arc & Hue, is culled from a poem in the first section about a little boy and I drawing on the sidewalks outside my mother’s house in Kankakee, IL. I kept thinking of how, as adults, we try to construct these moments so that children have, and hopefully later, recall having positive experiences with us. I know that’s where the poem came from, but when the collection came together the last line of the poem embodied all that longing and potential nostalgia that is easily wiped away. This book grapples with that feeling of holding on to memories we create and letting them go to make room for the rest of our lives. Some people have also hinted that Arc & Hue are two words that describe a woman of color. I appreciate, this, but it was not intentional in writing this book or the poem.

Abdul Ali is a poet and writer living in the District of Columbia. A native New Yorker, his work spans the malleable spheres of personal and public and pays particular attention to cityscapes, and the urban experience. He’s the proud papi of a five year-old daughter. He is the new Split This Rock Program Associate. You can read the rest of this interview at his blog, Words Matter

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