I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, a product of the same Midwestern favelas that fostered Joseph McCarthy, Harry Houdini, and actor Willem Dafoe, with whom I once performed in children's theatre.
My life as a writer began when I was in second grade at St. Therese Catholic School. Sister Phyllis Mae, a Franciscan nun, was my teacher. She was exceptionally strict and wore a full black habit, so all we ever really saw of her was part of her face and her hands when she wrote on the chalkboard. As a seven-year-old, I found her terrifying. Yet she was the first person to encourage my writing. She saw something in one of my colored-pencil stories of anthropomorphized vegetables that inspired her to steer me like a pond yacht from classroom to classroom, reading my story aloud to, eventually, the entire school. I am not certain what effect this may have had on my developing psyche, but I do know that, ever since, writing has offered me equal parts terror and satisfaction. Thank you, Sister Phyllis Mae.
Tara Mae Williams earned her MFA in Creative Writing Fiction at Fresno State University in Fresno, California. She also holds an MA Ed in Teaching and Curriculum and an Ed D in Educational Leadership. Currently she teaches English at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington.
Before writing fiction, she wrote informative books and articles, essays, and screenplays. Her work appears in Sky Island Journal, Fatal Flaw Literary Magazine, Calyx, Southwest Review, Entropy, Enchanted Conversation, Apparition Literary Magazine, and The Weird Reader Vol. III, among other publications, and in the climate fiction anthology Fire & Water: Stories of the Anthropocene (2021 Black Lawrence Press).