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And the abyss also stares into you

Dr. Perle Tahat considers themself somewhat of an elder in the literary community having stewarded multiple publications and organizing hubs. In 2013 they founded Lehigh Valley Vanguard (2013-2017) which was a print and online publication and contact point for artists and activists to spur political action in their community. She worked with many key figures to develop meet-ups, art shows, readings, and podcasts (Lehigh Valley Vanguard Live On Air) which had an impact on the political climate in the community at the time. In 2014, along with Kailey Tedesco, she co-founded Rag Queen Periodical (2014-2019), an online and print literary magazine dedicated primarily to gender issues and discussions of identity more generally. Currently, they are an editor of TERSE. Journal (2016-Present), an Anthropocenian existential publication open to art, radical thought, and literary experiments. She has also participated in the submission and publication processes as an editorial board member at places like the North Meridian Review, Burning House Press and other literary projects. Dr. Perle Tahat has also written numerous critical essays, mini-syllabi, and literary pieces for these outlets over the years. ​ They have participated in academic conferences with emphasis on labor, identity, and organizing including those at The University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon University, Lehigh University, and DeSales University. In addition to her teaching, she has been invited to high school and university classrooms to talk about her work in the community. They have even done some television work including a guest appearance on the long-running local access WFMZ-TV show Business Matters with Tony Ianelli. She did a small, short run dialogue show called Barely Professors (2016-2017) produced by Adam MacHose where she discussed fraught issues for both a university and public audience. ​ Dr. Perle Tahat is from a working class background, is the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college, and the first person in her extended family to earn a graduate degree--she has an M.A., M.Ed., TOESL certificate in addition to her doctorate. Her dad is a lumberjack saxophone player and her mom is a multimedia artist with a day job.  ​ Since 2011 they have taught in institutions of higher education, including Warren County Community College, Northampton Community College, Centenary University, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and DeSales University in ESL and English departments. She also had the honor of teaching a few classes for incarcerated students via the PA Department of Justice in 2019.   Like their working class peers, they have many other working experiences including department stores, McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, Stop 'n Shop, Shoprite, and the YMCA. It is at the latter she spent the most time working as a fitness trainer to health seekers of varying levels. ​ Her dissertation, Specters of Racial Capitalism: Carceral Witnessing and Reparative Reading in Contemporary American Prison Life Writing, deals with the ways writing about the self is mediated by racial capitalism and places prison life writing in the tradition of environmental activism, the theory of history called hauntology, and transformative justice. It is simultaneously a work of carceral literary studies and critical criminology. ​ They are an artist with various levels of training and self-taught techniques, both material and digital, designing a variety of websites over the years and showing work in art spaces like The Nurture Nature Center and Gallery C at the Quadrant Bookmart and Coffee House. She was a volunteer with the Arts Community of Easton and the Easton Farmers Market, working with many artists over the years, one of her biggest sources of pride other than her two growing kids (2&4) who she now makes art with. ​ ​ ​ ​

wherever you go,
there you are

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