Tayarisha Poe

2017 PEW FELLOW
Updated
9 Jun 2017

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Tayarisha Poe, self portrait.

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Tayarisha Poe, THE FITS, 2015. Photo by Tayarisha Poe.

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Tayarisha Poe, BEACH RATS, 2017, directed by Eliza Hittman. Photo by Tayarisha Poe.

“When I write I am always speaking to the same thing in everyone: our internal youth, if it still lives, our internal, carved into our bones, youth: that constant curiosity, endless exploration, openness, willingness to be wrong, to be right, to keep going.”

Tayarisha Poe creates complex portraits of young people of color in her multisensory work that blends film, photography, and prose across media platforms. “My stories seek to show young people of color that they can choose how to define themselves, and they can shape their world,” she says. Poe’s forthcoming debut feature film, Selah and the Spades, began as an online series of photographs, short films, prose, and web design, telling the story of a charismatic black teenager in a fictional Pennsylvania town. The project marked Poe as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2015 and was recently further developed at the Sundance Screenwriter's Lab. Poe is a 2016 Knight Foundation Sundance Fellow and has been awarded grants from the Cinereach Foundation and Leeway Foundation. She holds a BA in film and literature from Swarthmore College and has been a filmmaking instructor at Scribe Video Center since 2013.