Tamiko Beyer: Women Authoring Change

By Hedgebrook Staff

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Categories: Women Authoring Change,

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Tamiko Beyer
Tamiko Beyer is a writer and a Hedgebrook alumna. We asked her about her work and about being a Woman Authoring Change.

 

Tell us about your work as a writer—do you write in multiple genres/forms?

I write poetry, and I write for work.

I think my poetry occupies the space of queer::eco::poetics, which I’ve written about here. I like to experiment with form, and I’ve found that I keep returning to the haibun. It’s both a comfortable and challenging form to inhabit.

At work, I write and edit all different kinds of communications materials. I think a lot about building power with language, and how social justice movements need clear, powerful communications to move people and create change.

 

Do you consider yourself an activist?

I am committed to changing the conditions of the world. I am committed to fighting for justice: racial, economic, climate, and more. I am deeply invested in being queer as a way to confront, oppose, and challenge to the status quo.

 

Would you characterize your writing as activist? Why or why not?

I don’t really know how to answer this question right now. In my twenties, I would have said yes. Today, I’m not sure how to define activist writing.

What I know is, I want to my writing to create shifts.

I want my poetry to shift the way people perceive the world, others, nature, themselves. I want my poetry to disorient readers, and then ground them in new truths they discover: new ways of being and thinking. I want my poetry to disturb as well as delight.

 

What impact do you hope your writing will have in the world?

Whatever impact my poetry will have in the world will be subtle and untraceable, I think. I hope it changes my readers in good ways, so they see the world a little differently and perhaps act a little differently – with more compassion, with more honesty, with more determination to right the wrongs of this world.

I hope the impact of the writing I do for work is huge. I hope it moves people to action—to see themselves as part of a movement demanding change, to speak truth to power, to give their time and money to work that is deeply transformative.

 

What’s the best feedback you’ve received from a reader/audience member?

So many people have been generous, smart, and kind in their responses to my work. Most recently, I really liked what the editors of the “Queering Nature” issue of the Fourth River wrote in their introduction: “Tamiko Beyer asks us to make our queer revolution intersect with concerns beyond our capitalist identities: guns and oil, the ways in which our queer love can break systems.”

 

About Tamiko Beyer:

Tamiko Beyer is the author of We Come Elemental (Alice James Books, 2013) and bough breaks (Meritage Press, 2011). Her poems have been published in The Volta, Tupelo Quarterly, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. She is the Deputy Communication Director at Corporate Accountability International. Find her online at tamikobeyer.com.

 

 


 

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Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily representative of the opinions of Hedgebrook, its staff or board members.

 

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