Poetry News

National Book Foundation Interviews T’ai Freedom Ford About BookUp LGBTQ

By Harriet Staff


At the National Book Foundation's site, Courtney Gillette interviews poet, Cave Canem Fellow, and NYC Public School teacher T'ai Freedom Ford about BookUp's inaugural LGBTQ initiative.

When it came time to select an instructor for BookUp’s inaugural LGBTQ program, t’ai freedom ford was a natural choice. A Cave Canem fellow, New York City public school teacher, and generous poet, her love of education and reading is palpable. BookUp LGBTQ was created so that young queer readers can be paired with writers and stories that reflect their lives. t’ai freedom ford took time to answer a few questions about how she became a teacher, the books that have influenced her, and why BookUp LGBTQ matters.

Courtney Gillette: You’re an accomplished writer and a high school English teacher. What drew you to teaching?

t’ai freedom ford: I've always loved school, teachers, just being in the school building was a thrill to me. When I was younger, I would mistakenly get dressed for school on a Saturday, only to find my sister in the living room watching cartoons. And I knew, at age 7, that I wanted to be a teacher. I did a lot of stuff in between that and didn't actually become a teacher until I was 30. I was answering phones at an ad agency and I thought, what the hell am I doing? I'm supposed to be teaching. So I applied to the NYC Teaching Fellows and became a teacher that fall.

Continue at National Book Foundation.