Famous Poet Taylor Byas Visits Monmouth

On Monday March 4, Monmouth College welcomed renowned poet Taylor Byas to campus. Byas, who originally grew up on the south side of Chicago and now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, paid a visit to Monmouth to deliver a reading from her book of poetry I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times, which consists of five sections of poems about her life as a woman of color and Chicago native. Byas is the winner of multiple awards including the 2020 Poetry Super Highway Contest, 2020 Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets, and the 2021 Adrienne Rich Award for Potery. She is also the author of two chapbooks titled Bloodwarm and Shutter.

Byas participated in two classroom discussions. She sat down with the students of Professor David Wright’s ENGL-200 “Intro to English Studies” and ENGL-310 “Advanced Creative Writing.” Students from these classes had the opportunity to have a discussion with Byas about her job as a professional writer, the education she received and how it helped her find her place in the industry, and her life experiences that are reflected in her book. Byas answered many questions about her craft.

Byas ended her visit with a poetry reading on the second floor of Hewes Library at 4:30pm. She selected a handful of poems of all different subjects and forms, as well as including commentary on the development of the poems. An almost full house attended the poetry reading which was sponsored by the Monmouth College English Department. Byas has another book of poetry set to release sometime this year titled Resting Bitch Face. I Done Clicked My Heels Three Times can be found on Amazon and Softskullpress.com

Mia Martino Features Editor

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