Arc & Hue

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Tara Betts received her MFA from New England College and she is a Cave Canem Fellow. Her work appears in Callaloo, Essence, and the Spoken Word Revelation, among other publications. She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.
Tara Betts deftly crafted stanzas are infused with a relentless lyricism and a Chi-town girl's sensibility. This debut collection solidifies her status as a defiant and singular voice, joyous indication of a fresh new direction in poetry. --Patricia Smith, National Book Award Winner and author of Blood Dazzler The poems in Tara Betts's debut collection, Arc and Hue, are a montage of identity politics, sexuality, music, and experiential knowledge. The joy of reading these poems is that it's the knowledge--yes, even more than the music-- that makes these poems sing. Irrespective of how familiar the scene may seem on the surface, whether the focus is a reverie on relationships--some familial, some romantic--or a projection of a subjunctive future, the acute attention to detail and keen point of view guides Betts' work to conclusions that surprise and illuminate. --A. Van Jordan, author of Quantum Lyrics It's all here, all the nuances of body and voice, as bold and sensitive poetic attitude. How flow became form then flow again, the creative-growth-process of living writing line breath before line break, a risk in every room. Tara Betts makes silence plea then whips some crazy and some natural on the confessional. Often sassy, often black-a-demic, her non-discriminating eye is never without a fully focused art-sense of self, community and nation. So many of the poems in Arc and Hue aim for the spirit level of insight, our need-some-more-saturation souls. No bragging, no cussin folks out or refried allegorical posturing, Arc and Hue respects the currency of creativity and the unbought lives it honors. --Thomas Sayers Ellis, The Maverick Room

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