Tara Betts is the author of Arc & Hue, a Ph.D. candidate at Binghamton University, and a Cave Canem alum.
Tara’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including VILLANELLES, Gathering Ground, Bum Rush the Page, A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, and both Spoken Word Revolution anthologies. Her poems have appeared in Essence, Crab Orchard Review, Callaloo, Ninth Letter, Court Green, and others. Her writing has also been adapted for the stage in Steppenwolf Theater's Words on Fire," "Fingernails Across a Chalk Board" by Chocolate Chips Theater Company, Rivka's Solomon's "That Takes Ovaries!" and the work-in-progress dance production "THE GREATEST! An Hip Homage to Muhammad Ali."
Tara Betts encourages literacy and works with arts programs. In Chicago, she was an influential educator. Tara co-founded GirlSpeak, a weekly writing/leadership workshop for young women. She has also conducted short-term workshops in schools, community centers, Ms. Foundation, City Girls (a substance abuse rehabilitation center for teen girls), Cook County Jail and Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, Louder Arts Project, Cooper Union, Dodge Foundation’s Poets-In-The-Schools program and London’s Roundhouse.
Tara also appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and the Black Family Channel series “SPOKEN” with Jessica Care Moore. After winning Guild Complex’s Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award, she represented Chicago twice at the National Poetry Slam. She also coached youth who participated in Brave New Voices and Chicago's Louder Than a Bomb.
Publications and Prizes
Arc and Hue (Aquarius Press, 2009)
2013 Scholars for the Dream Award, CCCC.
2011 Bread Loaf Writers Conference.
2010 VONA scholarship for memoir and poetry.
2009 Squaw Valley Writers Workshop scholarship. 2009 Pushcart nominee.
Illinois Arts Council fellowship.
artist-in-residence at Ragdale Foundation, Soul Mountain, Caldera, Centrum, and University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.