Writing Center Alum Creates Poets┬┐ Space

Date: May 10, 2010

GVSU alum and former writing consultant Tara Cavanaugh found an outlet for her poetry passion by designing “a space for poets to share their work exactly as they want it to be heard.” PoetSpeak, a “blogcast” Tara created in December 2009, is devoted to poets who wish to present their work with the voice, tone, and expression of a formal poetry reading.


Tara recently finished her Master’s degree in Journalism while interning full-time at Missouri’s and Michigan's NPR affiliate stations. Tara has already produced two of her own feature length stories for the NPR affiliate, a rarity for an intern.


After listening to a podcast of a Chicago poetry tour though the Poetry Foundation website last fall, Tara was reminded of “how amazing it is to hear an author command the sound and delivery of his or her own work.”  The web’s easy accessibility enticed Tara to create PoetSpeak expressively for poets who wish to showcase their own work not only in print, but with audio as well. Audiences can listen to writers recite shorter pieces on a regular basis and so far, PoetSpeak houses 16 poets with 20 contributions. 


Tara’s student job as a Grand Valley writing consultant from 2005-2008, gave her ample time to hone her writing skills and develop an interest in a variety of writing genres. With an interest in journalism and poetry, Tara was part of the poetry selection committee for Grand Valley’s Fishladder and won first place in poetry from the Lanthorn’s Literary Edition contest in 2008. Tara graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 2008 and began studying for her Master’s degree in journalism soon after.

Tara’s plans for the future include obtaining a job in radio journalism and perhaps eventually teaching with an eye towards starting a writing center because she “liked being a consultant that much.”

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