Longtime NYWC workshop leader and fabulous poet Tamiko Beyer won a 2011 Kinereth Gensler Award from Alice James Books! Her book, We Come Elemental, will be published in 2013. Tamiko also will receive $2,000 and will become a member of the Alice James Books Poetry Cooperative Board.
Read poems from Tamiko’s book bough breaks in Paper Bag.
And here’s an excerpt from an interview with Tamiko from The Collagist:
You’re a founding member of Agent 409, a queer and multiracial New York writing collective which has led workshops at events like Split This Rock poetry festival and the U.S. Social Forum. You also lead workshops for the New York Writers’ Coalition, where you work with homeless LGBT teens and “other communities whose voices have been historically silenced”. Could you talk a little about your involvement in these endeavors, and the relationship between your own writing and these projects?
I have always approached writing not as something I do in isolation, but something that I do in and for community. Social justice work has always been an important part of what I do/who I am, and when I decided to commit to poetry, I also made a commitment to myself to not lose sight of my dedication to working towards social change. My work with the New York Writers’ Coalition is so rewarding because I get to share the joy of writing with people who are hungry for the opportunity and permission to write creatively.
My writing group, Agent 409 is what feeds me, what keeps me writing, and is definitely a space I can call home. I would not be the writer I am without the support, critical feedback, and love of the members of Agent 409. Because we are a group of writers who believe in writing for social change, we do lead workshops and share our resources and expertise with our communities when we are able to, but we are also very clear that our priority is our sanity and our writing. And that is part of what I think has sustained us for so long (we’re about to start on our 7thyear).
Tamiko, congrats on your success –it is always satisfying when amazing, caring and dedicated people like you get the recognition they deserve!