Saturday, March 14, 2009

An interview with Tarringo T. Vaughan, wonderful poet and writer

TARRINGO T. VAUGHAN is a great writer of poetry, and a very thoughtful person. I offer this interview to hopefully expose you to his work, and to suggest that at PopLitiko we consider all aspects of popular culture. Even the aspects that aren’t AS popular.

Tell us about your background?:

I'm a 32 year old male with a bachelors in English. Graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2000. Was born and spent my younger years in Boston and since the age of 7 have been living in Springfield, MA. I am the oldest of 4 children raised primarily by a single mother. I have been working In the health care field for 8 years now.

People often assume that poetry is rhyme alone, and perhaps rhythm make a work a poem. What is a poem, and why does or doesn't rhyme matter to its being a poem?:

I learned pretty quickly that poetry didn't have to be rhyme, it can be many things. A poem is simply a poet's expression and if they are able to reach the reader in the form of inspiration then its poetry. Rhyme to me only matters if it comes naturally. Sometimes I rhyme because its within the flow, but I try not to force it.

What poets are the poets you love to read?:

I read Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Charles Bukowski, Joseph Brodsky, Alicia Keys, Maya Angelou, Pablo Neruda

You are gay, black, and a poet, are there any other ways you are outside the norm of society? Does that inform your poetry? How does it, if it does, hurt your poetry?:

I think I'm outside the norm simply for writing so many different styles. But being gay and black gives me much more inspiration as far as writing goes. I don't think I ever have writers block. It hurts me because I think many male poets/writers assume and have assumed they know what my writing will be about. For the most part though, it hasn't hurt much.

Who inspires your poetry today? What inspired you to become a poet?:

I would have to go back to the writers of the Harlem renaissance because for them it was all about expression and the appreciation of self. I've always inspired to be more of a novel writer and script writer until one day a reader of mine told me I should try poetry.

FlexWritersOnline, FlexCafe and other places are havens for writers. What is your ultimate goal with them, and how has running them gone? Are there issues with doing so?:

My ultimate goal is exposing and connecting writers. Leading a group on myspace has been stressful although it is rewarding at the same time. I get a lot of shit just being a moderator. I've heard so much negative about me which is not true and it all comes down to competition which it should not be about.

Why be a poet? wouldn't writing music lyrics be more rewarding both financially speaking and societally acceptance-wise?

I think music is poetry so writing lyrics is what we are doing. A goal of mine is to make is socially acceptable.

What is a poet's greatest asset?

Their surroundings.

In 5 years, as a poet, and then, as a person, what do you hope to be doing, and having accomplished?

I honestly hope to see many books published of those I have grown to known and perhaps my own name on a book cover.

Where have you been published?

I haven't been published, many are shocked by that but I also haven't tried because I don't feel like I have anything complete to do so.

Lastly, what does poetry offer society?

A poet offers society a connection to the emotions people feel in that one may relate and feel they are not alone. It offers voices that may not be heard otherwise.

Find Tarringo’s work at:
Diary of a Gay Black Man
Tarringo Vaughan


Tarringo T Vaughan said...

Thank you so much Alex..was a treat and i like the collage you did with my pictures

alex-ness said...

Well it was an awesome experience interviewing you.

And your work kicks much ass!