An Interview with Tasha Marren

Who are you? What are your specialties?

I’m a poet. I did my undergraduate work at Long Beach State, where I focused on more narrative aspects. During my MFA experience, I was encouraged to and spent more time on sound. I’m currently getting my PhD in English with an emphasis in poetry at the University of Illinois-Chicago. I feel that my poetry really comes from these two backgrounds, narrative and sound.

Are narrative and sound things you still work with? Have you rejected one?

I haven’t really rejected anything. I feel that I’m better at one than the other. I appreciate the narrative style, but I think I’m better at sound and tonality.

Do you work with any major themes?

I often have recurring images, particularly of nature, that are at play in my work. In particular, the image of a carved turtle often recurs. I think I’m more tonally consistent in that I’m usually working with a dark and frightening tone.

How do you stay motivated to write?

My husband and my friends, such as Snezana [Zabie] encourage me. I also have to meet deadlines for my dissertation.

What has been your biggest regret or mistake thus far in your career?

As far as my writing, I don’t really have any regrets. But I wish I had thought more seriously about what I want out of a PhD program.