Inside the Writer’s Head: Talking Poetry with Tara Skurtu and Tanya Ko-Hong

Written by Manuel Iris, Writer-in-Residence, Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library

Our 2023 Writer-in-Residence, Manuel Iris, is a poet, essayist, and teacher. Attend his upcoming workshops and writers' office hours. And, listen to him as host of CHPL's "Inside the Writer's Head" podcast.

Manuel sits down with two internally recognized poets, Tanya Ko-Hong and Tara Skurtu in the latest episode of “Inside the Writer’s Head.” In this episode, Manuel, Tanya, and Tara dive deep into how they define poetry, exploring topics like belonging, otherness, creativity, and the limits of language.

About This Week’s Guests: Tara Skurtu and Tanya Ko-Hong 

Tara Skurtu is the author of "The Amoeba Game” and the upcoming poetry collection "Faith Farm.” She is a two-time U.S. Fulbright grantee and recipient of the Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, the Marcia Keach Poetry Prize and two Academy of American Poets prizes. She is the founder of International Poetry Circle, and the national steering committee member of Writers for Democratic Action. Tara is based in Brooklyn, where she is a writing coach for clients worldwide.

Tanya Ko-Hong is an internationally published poet, translator, and playwright who champions bilingual poetry and poets. She is the author of five books including “The War Still Within” published in 2019. She holds an MFA degree from Antioch University in Los Angeles. Tanya's work has been published in several journals and anthologies and won the DritËro Agolli Award at the International KorÇare Poetry Festival, several other awards, and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In 2015, her segmented poem “Comfort Woman” received an honorable mention from the Women’s National Book Association and adapted into a play by Tabula RaSa NYC Theater and Performance Lab. Recently, she hosted a multilingual reading and workshop at the Fifth Third Street, New York Poetry Library.

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