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“I was leaving was myself:” T. S. Banks Debuts Second Book of Poetry at A Room of One’s Own


Local artist, author and activist T.S. Banks held a reading for his second book of poetry, Left, last week.

Following the 2017 release of his first book Call Me Ill which chronicles being Black, trans, disabled and struggling with mental wellness challenges.

Left is centered on survival, healing and liberation.

“I left a lot of things in 2017,” Banks said during his reading at A Room of One’s Own. “I turned 30 and I thought I’d have everything figured out, but my birthday came and I was like this is a bunch of bs because I ain’t got nothing figured out.”

Banks originally wrote a book called 30 to publish on his birthday December 30, but realized it wasn’t true to his experiences, so he wrote Left instead.

The book is broken into three parts: why he left, when things went left and why he left certain things.

“One of things I realized I was leaving was myself,” he said. “Through those processes of me figuring out that I lost myself I realized that I needed to do some deeper work in my mental wellness for my mental wellness.”

Similarly to Call Me Ill, Left explores the racially discriminatory practices of the medical industrial complex and how the challenges T has faced in finding adequate help.

“When I diagnosis is given without the tools to understand that’s a problem,” he said.

The book ultimately tackles themes of finding oneself after feeling lost.

“The thing that I didn’t have figured out, that kept coming to me was abandonment,” he said. That’s why I wrote Left, because I’m always feeling left and so I needed to put it out there and stop running from it.”

The book is currently being sold at A Room of One’s Own.