Loyola University Chicago

Writing Program

Tara Betts

Part-Time Instructor



Tara Betts has taught at several Northwestern, DePaul, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Rutgers University, as well as at Stateville Prison via Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project. Tara served as the Inaugural Poet for The People Practitioner Fellow at University of Chicago. Tara is also Poetry Editor at The Langston Hughes Review and founder of the nonprofit organization The Whirlwind Learning Center on Chicago’s South Side.


  • BA from Loyola University Chicago
  • MFA from New England College
  • PhD from Binghamton University

Research Interests

  • African American Literature
  • Poetry
  • Creative Writing
  • Sound Studies
  • Popular Culture


  • Illinois Arts Council Fellowship
  • Writer's Residencies at Ragdale Foundation, Centrum, Caldera, Soul Mountain, and Vermont Studio Center


  • Refuse to Disappear (Word Works Books, 2022)
  • Carving Out Rights from Inside the Prison Industrial Complex (Hat and Beard Press, 2021)
  • Adventures in Black and White by Philippa Duke Schuyler (edited volume, 2Leaf Books, 2018)
  • The Beiging of America: Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century (coedited volume, 2Leaf Books, 2017)
  • Break the Habit (Trio House Press, 2016)
  • Arc & Hue (Willow Books, 2009)