Dr. Tara Betts collaborated with David Weathersby on Unbarred Poetics. She is the author of the poetry collections Break the Habit, Arc & Hue, and the forthcoming Refuse to Disappear. In 2019, she was commissioned to write a poem celebrating the Illinois Bicentennial, which was published as a broadside by Candor Arts in 2020. Her work as a teaching artist and mentor for young poets also includes having taught at several universities, including Rutgers University and University of Illinois-Chicago. She has also taught poetry workshops at Stateville Prison through the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project, alongside writing workshops at Cook County Jail and Cook County Juvenile Detention Center through FreeWrite Arts & Literacy. Her work on literature and literacy is deeply entwined with inclusion, accessibility, and encouraging critical thinking, especially outside of traditional academic institutions. She is the founder and director of The Whirlwind Learning Center on Chicago’s South Side.