Tara Borin

Tara Borin's picture
Photo credit: 
Robin Sharp
Biography: 

Tara Borin is a poet and writer living in traditional Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in territory, Dawson City, Yukon. Their debut full-length collection, The Pit, was published with Nightwood Editions in 2021. Tara's work has also been anthologized in Resistance: Righteous Rage in the Age of #MeToo (U of R Press), Emerge 19 (SFU), and Best New Poets in Canada 2018 (Quattro Books). Tara writes free verse poetry, and recent themes in their work include mental health, addiction, identity, and family, both biological and chosen. Their influences include Al Purdy, Kim Addonizio, Kayla Czaga, and Katherena Vermette. 

Micro-interview: 
Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?: 

I did read poetry in highschool. My nana had a slim volume of classics on her bookshelf that I liked to read, with work from poets like Emily Dickenson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Shakespeare. I was also a huge fan of the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. Their lead singer, Gord Downie, was an accomplished poet, and when he released his first collection, Coke Machine Glow, I devoured it. I remember reading an interview with him where he mentioned the poet Al Purdy, so I started to read his work as well. I don't remember if I had a favourite, just that I loved all of it!

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?: 

I first started writing poetry in highschool, and even began submitting some poems to journals that I found through a copy of "Poet's Market." My first acceptance came when I was arond 18 years old, in a little journal out of Toronto called Jones Ave. I didn't write much in my 20's, and didn't really think of myself as a poet until I came back to writing and poetry in my early 30's. That's when I started to take the craft seriously and work at refining my skills.

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?: 

I think a poet's job is to observe the world around them, all aspects of it. To distill our experiences down, to crystallize them, and then to put those observations out in the world to offer others insight, comfort, a laugh, inspiration...there are so many things a poem can do! 

If you have a poem in our anthology what inspired you to write it?: 

I was inspired to write "Nuisance" by my daily life raising my young children in an off-grid cabin in the woods. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but there were some beautiful and bizarre moments as well, and I wanted to capture that.

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?: 

I haven't had a chance to read through the anthology yet, so I guess for now I would choose my own, because I wrote it!

Publications: 
Title: 
The Pit
Publisher: 
Nightwood Editions
Date: 
March 2021
Publication type: 
Book
Poem title(s): 
No Emergency
Title: 
Resistance: Righteous Rage in the Age of #MeToo
Publisher: 
University of Regina Press
Editors: 
Sue Goyette
Date: 
April 2021
Publication type: 
Anthology
Title: 
Best New Poets in Canada 2018
Publisher: 
Quattro Books
Editors: 
Kate Marshall Flaherty and Dane Swan
Date: 
2018
Publication type: 
Anthology