Tara Betts: Lady in the House Questions

What has been your ultimate journey?

To keep writing in spite of challenges and finding a way to break through to inspiration. I still think I have some journeys to undertake to fully explore what the ultimate one might be.

How do you start? Where do you end?

I often start with a snippet, a phrase, an overheard comment, a quote, an image, or and obsession. Once the idea stays or leaps onto the page, I know I’ve started something good. I end when I hear the tone of finality in what could be the concluding lines or sentences.

Do you worry about the politics of classification? How do you classify yourself?

I usually classify myself as a black-identified woman of interracial descent, but I think I also classify myself in a number of other ways that are not gendered, class-oriented, or race specific. Poet, amateur foodie, avid reader, music lover, Midwesterner, an oldest child, the only daughter, aunt, teacher, professor, I’d say I’m attached to these views of myself and several others that make me more in touch with my humanity.

When do you leave the wall intact, when do you knock it down?

The wall that I might leave intact is the one that provides a useful structure like a poetic form that guides me to completed work. I knock those walls down when I seek to fuse unexpected lexicons in various discourses so people understand that my nuanced and multiple identities as a writer, with history and varied interests, still has room to analyze, question, and dream.

Tara Betts: Lady in the House Questions

2 thoughts on “Tara Betts: Lady in the House Questions

  1. Cate Marvin says:

    Tara Betts! I am so happy to find your voice here. And what you say about poetic form in your answer to the last question makes so much sense to me after hearing you read your wonderfully agile pieces in form (an adeptness I could never hope to master). Thank you. I can’t wait to read your Friday Feature!


  2. I like what Tara has to say about her “nuanced and multiple identities.” I think that her acknowledgement of the complexity of personal identity is reflected in her work.


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