Break the Habit
Author: Tara Betts
Publisher: Trio House Press (2016)
"In her new collection Break the Habit, Tara Betts movingly draws the arc of a black woman’s life, with its numerous peaks and valley, as only a talented and assured poet can. These poems, which show a refreshing and impressive formal range and control, offer glimpses of the poet’s family, her youth and emotional education, her marriage, divorce, and its difficult aftermath, and her perspectives on the wider world. Alongside tenderness, vulnerability and healing this poet shows us through her lyric artistry what self-love and resolve look like, writing as she does in the collection’s final poem, a golden shovel, 'I will not allow myself to live half a life, so I must go.'"
"Tara Betts’ Break the Habit is haunted by jazz, the sound and echo of it, the engagement with grief and loss, the movement of language that captures loneliness and love and relationships severed by death or divorce. These are poems that make the reader weep in the same way a great jazz singer does by touching the very core of what it means to be human."