Contributor Q+A with Taylor Byas

Taylor Byas is a Black poet and essayist from Chicago. She currently lives in Cincinnati where she is a second year PhD student and Albert C. Yates Scholar at the University of Cincinnati, pursuing her degree in Creative Writing (Poetry). She is a reader for both The Rumpus and The Cincinnati Review, and the poetry editor for FlyPaper Lit. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in New Ohio ReviewThe JournalBorderlands Texas Poetry ReviewHobartPidgeonholes, and others. Her prose appears in Another Chicago MagazineEmpty MirrorJellyfish Review, and others.

Her poems “Don’t Go Getting Nostalgic,” “A Cut Foot Teaches Kindness,” and “Growing Pains,” appeared in Sundog Lit Issue 17. You can find her on Twitter @TaylorByas3 and at

Describe the last thing you read in five words.
Incredible use of the page (it was Anodyne by Khadijah Queen)

Coffee, tea, or neither?
Coffee destroys my stomach. So since I love my life, tea, all day every day. I love black teas. Earl Grey is probably my favorite.

Physical books or e-books?
Physical books. I need the texture of the page. It’s so hard for me to focus when I’m reading on an electronic device. And I can’t emphatically underline or heart something when I get excited! Definitely physical copies.

What are you working on now?
This current moment has me thinking a lot about violence, violence against women in particular. I’m currently working on a second manuscript, and the poems are currently these ekphrastic meditations on the different ways that society normalizes violence against women to varying degrees. There are poems inspired by paintings, film, other poems. It’s also mostly in prose, which is sort of scary but is also a current obsession of mine, how to master the prose poem.

Anything else that you’d like to plug or let our readers know about?
My chapbook, BLOODWARM, will be out this July with Variant Lit, YAY!