ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Review of The Shaping of an Angry Black Woman by Tamara Woods

Updated on September 11, 2014

It is a rare opportunity to collaborate with another poet, but chances to share thoughts about writing with a poetess, who is also a fine friend, is even rarer.

It is my honor to introduce to everyone Tamara Woods, a writer with whose gift for words many of us envy. She brings to the literary world finesse that surpasses many.

She has recently published a new anthology of poetry, The Shaping of an Angry Black Woman, that addresses the perceptions that society has of African-American women. True to character, Tamara broaches the subjects she writes about in a candid, tell-it-all way.


A. Who is Tamara Woods?

With that, it is time to satisfy your curiosity about who Tamara Woods actually is.

Based in Honolulu, Tamara is an African-American writer who specializes in edgy poetry that tells it as it is. Her short stories, too, offer a no-holds-barred look at humanity.

Tamara graduated from the West Virginia University with degrees in Integrated Marketing Communications and Journalism.

My chats with her have unveiled the truthfulness that surrounds her approach to life. Tamara never shies away from honesty.

What is instantly striking about her is how she balances sensitive, hard-to-broach subjects with gentility, grace and a definite sense of humor. She describes herself, humorously, as a “hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathemagician.”

B. Her Writings and Inspiration

Tamara’s writing voice shone through as I asked her about her writing and inspiration.

She knew that writing was the profession for her when she wrote a poem entitled “I Am” for the summer program at Fairmont State College. She was only in the sixth grade, but she knew then that writing was the perfect fit.

This prolific writer counts among her influences Maya Angelou, whose poem “Phenomenal Woman” has reminded her of her own femininity for years. The poem encouraged her when she read it during a poetry recital in front of her school. She has since memorized nearly all of it throughout her life.

For those who are starting out in the writing arena, Tamara advises them to “just do it”. The only way to start a writing career, she says, is if you plunge right in.


What are your perceptions of poetry?

See results

C. A Review of the Shaping of An Angry Black Woman

She wrote her own book, The Shaping of an Angry Black Woman, over a span of 15 years. Some of her poems are those she performed at poetry slams in Oahu.

She conceived the idea for the book when she and a friend talked about how society perceived black women. Three stereotypes stood out.

Tamara realized that black women were often perceived as seductive, nurturing and lastly, angry. The book germinated as a protest against these stereotypes.

When I read the poems, I found that they touched base with the human condition. Tamara gives her readers revealing insights into the curve balls often thrown in the path of life.

I did not find her “angry” either. Far from being rants, her poems are simply nuggets of truth that open the eyes. The Shaping of An Angry Black Woman is a poignant picture of life’s sometimes harsh realities.

Here is an example to illustrate what I mean.

Hot Combs Self-Deception

D. Sample Poem: Laundry List

Gasp for breath,

The air that makes tooth throb,

Battery acid boils,

over in socket.

Where’s that clove juice that girl said could help?

Wait ’til income tax time

To get that pulled.

This a’int even a poem.

Just a list of the costs of bootstraps living.

The only way to go is


These boosts squeeze my heels

Limping through the system

Keeping me in the system.


E. Conclusion

Tamara’s book is for those of us who want thoughtful, provocative insights into life’s tough realities.

Do visit her at her blog, PenPaperPad, for a look at more of her short stories and poetry.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Aviannovice! She is an amazing lady!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I have a wonderful friend named Theresa, who also just keeps 'keeping on.' There is nothing angry about her, either, she just wants to support herself and her daughter. I have seen some of her written word, and her art is SPECTACULAR. She will be getting back into art soon, and I am lucky enough to have a piece that she created for ME. Tamara's company sounds like someone that I would truly enjoy in my life.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Dianna.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Paula.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Nithya.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      A pleasure, Tamara!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Manatita!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, it can, Sandra!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this woman's background. She sounds like she has a wealth of inspiration for living life well. The poem is lovely.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Thanks for sharing this. It was interesting meeting the poet through your eyes.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Great review and a great poem.Harsh realities of life.

    • profile image

      Tamara Woods 

      6 years ago

      This is such a lovely piece Michelle. Thank you so much for writing it!

    • manatita44 profile image


      6 years ago from london

      I like the way you expressed your love in that review, Michelle. A fine poem too! Seems an excellent kind of woman. I wish the book well.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 

      6 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Reality can really smack us in the face sometimes. Great to see someone telling it like it is and doing a great job of it.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks a million, Devika!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An interesting individual and thanks for the introduction with a lovely poem.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the review. I love the poem...and I will check her out.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Deal for a Living. Certainly does!

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Nick Deal 

      6 years ago from Earth

      Wow, that poem really kicks you in the teeth, huh.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      A review of Tamara Woods' The Shaping of an Angry Black Woman


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)