how to get over by t’ai freedom ford


“From the moment the poet declares that there’s a ‘plantation in them lungs,’ and sets the stage for a starkly ‘muscled music,’ you may as well let loose your rigid misconceptions about what poetry can do and steel yourself as it becomes the way your body moves from one exclamation to the other. Each of these lean and urgent poems, bulging with insistent energy and image, is a hallmark of t’ai freedom ford’s fierce inventiveness and refusal to settle for anything that lives its only life on the page. The fact that you aren’t ready for this work is exactly why you need it in your life.”
—Patricia Smith, author of the National Book Award finalist Blood Dazzler


how to get over, winner of the 2015 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize

Judge: A.E. Stallings

Buy this Book Search for a reading of how to get over near you

…in these poems, full of jostling rhymes, elaborate rhythms, well-weighed syllabics, received and invented forms, deft improvisations, sonnets and bops, the poet confronts public tragedies and private trauma with craft and music, subverting and incorporating tradition.

— Alicia Stallings


t’ai’s AROHO Story

A Room of Her Own Foundation’s poetry prize contest allowed an emerging writer like me to get her foot in the door of the ever-competitive world of poetry publishing. Winning AROHO’s To The Lighthouse Prize has validated me and my voice as a poet and writer. Having my book enter the world is my proudest accomplishment and I am so very grateful to AROHO for blessing me and countless other women with this opportunity.—t’ai freedom ford

t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher, Cave Canem Fellow and Pushcart Prize nominee. In 2014, she was the winner of The Feminist Wire’s inaugural poetry contest judged by Evie Shockley. She is a 2015 Center for Fiction Fellow and a 2015–16 Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow sponsored by The Poetry Project. t’ai lives in Brooklyn; you can also connect digitally at:



Author: A Room of Her Own

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