Tamez’s poetry is informed by an awareness of the culture of indigenous people, social inequities, colonization, sexual violence, women’s labor, and the land; her poems refuse to accept romanticized notions of indigenous life. In a 2007 interview with Lisa Alvarado, she commented that “the spiritual aspect of ‘words,’ of ‘language’ is deeply rooted in memory, in the body’s memory and story, in connection to pain of the heart and pain of the body at convergence.”
Tamez’s Raven Eye was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the University of Arizona Press. She received an Environmental Leadership Award, an International Exchange Award from the Tucson Pima Arts Council, and a Poetry Fellowship from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.
In 2004 Tamez and Joni Adamson organized the Symposium on Globalism and the Environmental Justice and Toxics Movement in Tucson, Arizona.