Local poet Tiffany Herron read her original poetry on identity and heritage at the Plug Poetry Event.
The Plug Poetry Event returned to Chattanooga this year and it featured local poets as the openers of its readings. Tiffany Herron is one of those poets and sent a powerful and personal message with her readings.
Tiffany has always been passionate about artistic expression and it was in high school that she had her first encounter with poetry. She wrote an anonymous poem for an assignment and remembers when the teacher read it out loud to the class.
“The way he looked around and asked who had written the poem made me nervous and excited that my words had affected someone else,” Tiffany said.
When Tiffany got to college she was unsure if she wanted to pursue a career in science or the arts. She chose a career in outdoor education but continued to write poems in her free time. A few years ago she decided that she was doing was no longer fulfilling and is now going to UTC to obtain an MA in Creative Writing.
At The Plug Poetry Event, Tiffany read her original poems that stem from the journey she went on of discovering her ethnic identity.
“I was adopted as a baby from Honolulu and until taking a test from Ancestry.com, I wasn’t certain what my ethnic makeup consisted of,” Tiffany said. “This led to me meeting my biological half-siblings, researching pacific island mythology, and applying to the Fullbright Scholarship to visit Samoa.”
Tiffany says that this topic is important to her and that she believes all people experience the idea of identity in different ways. She hopes that by sharing her story she will not only be able to connect with others but also be able to introduce Chattanoogans to Polynesian culture as it is heavily underrepresented in media.
When asked about advice that she would give to emerging local poets, Tiffany emphasized that new poets need to stay dedicated to writing and look for opportunities.
“Get involved. The Plug Poetry didn’t just happen. It took work and commitment and for poetry to thrive, its writers need to support each other. They need to go to readings and actively help with events like this one.”