Tara Torme has been writing poetry since she was 7 years old. She has always loved writing. In fact, she says, “I must write. I must chronicle my life, my feelings, for the world to know who I am.”
Earlier this year, she was paired with another poet, Rachel Taylor, as part of a project by posAbilities. Prior to the pandemic, they were supposed to participate in a live performance—a poetry slam. “But after the world got cancelled,” Tara says, “we did things by text & Skype instead.”
You can learn more about the poetry project and watch videos featuring poems from the other pairs in this blog post.
Rachel and Tara (as T.K. Torme) are now publishing two volumes of poetry titled In Conversation. The collection is made up of haikus that the poets sent back and forth each day during the months that COVID-19 restrictions kept them from working together in person. While the pandemic kept them apart, the haikus were their way of staying connected. Tara loves haikus because they are short. A haiku is made up of three lines—five syllables, then seven, then five. “I can write them on the go,” Tara says. “They take very little effort.”
Tara would send a haiku in the morning, and then Rachel would respond later in day with her own. Sometimes the poems are directly related; other times, they seem completely independent. But they are all part of a larger conversation in which Tara and Rachel inspire one another and spark new ideas.
“When I saw our poetry that we were writing was actually a really cool interaction,” Tara says, “I thought, ‘Why not publish books with them?’ because the poems are totally awesome.”
In Conversation found its home with Silver Bow Publishing, an independent, creative book publisher based in Greater Vancouver. To celebrate the launch of the book, Massy Arts Society is hosting a virtual release event on Tuesday, December 15. Check out a conversation with Tara and Rachel on creativity, mentorship, daily creative practices, and more hosted by interdisciplinary artist and visual storyteller Aaniya Asrani.