Kieves, Tama J. 1961-

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Kieves, Tama J. 1961-


Born February 15, 1961, in Brooklyn, NY; daughter of Sidney (a lawyer) and Janice (a secretary) Kieves; married Paul Kuhn. Education: Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1982; Harvard University, J.D. (cum laude), 1985. Hobbies and other interests: Art.


Office—P.O. Box 9040, Denver, CO 80209. Agent—Ned Leavitt, Ned Leavitt Agency, 70 Wooster St., Ste. 4F, New York, NY 10012. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer and career coach. Sherman & Howard (law firm), Denver, CO, attorney, 1985-86; writer, career coach, seminar leader, and national speaker, 1989—.


International Coaching Federation, National Speakers Association, Denver Coaches Federation.


This Time I Dance! Trusting the Journey of Creating the Work You Love, Jeremy P. Tarcher (New York, NY), 2003.

Work represented in anthologies, including What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Relationship Like This?, edited by Kay Marie Porterfield, Crossing Press, 1992.


Tama J. Kieves told CA: "I write to explain the world to myself and to explain myself to the world … and because I must write. Everything in my life hums and clicks when I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I feel hurt inside and things seem pointless and trivial.

"I decided to write This Time I Dance! Trusting the Journey of Creating the Work You Love for many reasons. Mostly it was the book I desperately needed to read and it wasn't out there, so I wrote it as a healing balm for myself. I was in a huge career transition, flailing, just having left my identity of a Harvard lawyer behind me—and I couldn't find books that spoke to the real process of finding and living your calling. I wanted to read the story of someone who really honored her gifts and put them into the world—what she thought and felt, how she faced fear, depression, the judgment of others, and horrendous self-doubt. I was tired of reading experts, easy steps, and cookie-cutter programs. I wanted someone to tell me how she got through all the emotions that come up and found her way through murky territory. So I wrote that book. I wrote it to talk myself into creative ‘centeredness’ and boldness, and I wrote it for everyone else.

"I also wanted to write a self-help book that read like poetry or fiction. I love good literary writing, and it frustrated me to read books with powerful messages that were written with minimal creativity and craft. I wanted to take a powerful life-changing message and write it in a style that entertained and inspired readers.

"I have a belief that ‘the writing knows what it wants to write.’ If I tried to sit down and write an outline, it would diminish my work. I don't know what the book wants to be until I've done enough writing to find out. It's an ‘unfoldment,’ and I feel as though the writing starts to teach and transform me until suddenly I know what I need to say.

"So I do free-writing first, just stream-of-consciousness stuff, letting the writing go every which-way. Usually I bump into some paragraphs or pages that have energy. I save these gems. I think of them as patches that I will put into a patchwork quilt. When I have enough patches, I see a pattern and a design and a structure I could never have imagined. Then most of my work, and this can take a good bit of time, is editing and polishing, making each section crisp and poignant, coherent, and instructive. I guess I'm pretty right-brained, but the former-lawyer part of me can find the structure that delineates the flow."



Library Journal, June 15, 2003, Audrey Snowden, review of This Time I Dance! Trusting the Journey of Creating the Work You Love, p. 82.


Awakening Artistry: The Art of Living Your Dreams, (September 11, 2005).