About

I am a poet, photographer, teacher. The title for this website, “The Quality of Light” is taken from an essay, Poetry Is Not a Luxury, by Audre Lorde, in which she begins, “The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives.” 

I believe it is important to remember the following: “Darkness is not darkness, it is the quality of the light. The sun is always ‘there’, it is our world that spins around and causes the illusion that it is not.” http://runesecrets.com/rune-meanings/dagaz

Below is more information about me. Feel free to contact me at tamrajhiggins@gmail.com

Born in South Dakota and raised in Iowa, I went on to attend the University of Kansas, the University of Bordeaux III in Talence, France, and earned a B.A. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Modern Languages and Linguistics.

After marrying, moving to Vermont, and while raising two daughters, I continued my education at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont, where I earned an M.Ed. In 1993, I started my own business, a private after-school program which was among the first in the state, and which I then turned into a non-profit agency that is still in operation today. I then taught in the public schools of Lamoille County, Vermont for 19 years, first at the elementary level for seven years and for the following twelve years at the middle school level as English teacher and as Literacy Specialist.

In July, 2012, I completed my MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry at Stonecoast, University of Southern Maine. I decided to leave the classroom in 2013, ready to begin a new phase of my life, although I was unsure what that would look like. Within months I started Sundog Poetry Center, Inc., first as a private business then incorporating it in to a nonprofit in February, 2014. Sundog Poetry offers local and state wide events, summer camps, retreats, books, and workshops all related to poetry. Please check out www.sundogpoetry.org to see all it encompasses.

My poems have appeared in Vermont MagazineAvocet, The Aurorean, The Mountain Troubadour, Prairie Schooner, Passagers (Honorable Mention in the 2013 contest), Haiku Society of America Anthology, 2013, bottle rockets, Modern Haiku, and other publications. My book, Nothing Saved Us: Poems of the Korean War was published in 2013, and I am the co-editor of Tasty Traditions: A Collection of Cambridge History, Memories, and Family Recipes. (All proceeds of Tasty Traditions goes to the Cambridge Vermont Historical Society). In May, 2016, my chapbook, Tenderbellied, was completed, and printed in a limited edition of 100 on hand-made paper and hand-sewn by Kelly McMahon at May Day Studio in Montpelier, Vermont. I have read my poetry at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, University of Southern Maine, Visions of Vermont Fine Art Gallery, Jeffersonville, Vermont, and Dingle Bookshop, Dingle, Ireland.

All the photographs on the banners of this website were taken by me as were those on the Photos pages.  If you would like to use them for personal purposes, please credit me. If you would like to use them for public purposes, please contact me for permission at tamrajhiggins@gmail.com as they are copyrighted. I hope you enjoy my work.