Sean Petrie is a poet and author. He’s a founding member of the poetry group Typewriter Rodeo, co-author of Typewriter Rodeo: Real people, real stories, custom poems (Andrews McMeel 2018), and author of the poetry collection Listen to the Trees (Documentary Media 2020). He is also the author of multiple middle grade books, including Deep Trouble (Fountas & Pinnell 2020), Kindling Courage (Fountas & Pinnell 2020), and Welders on the Job (Child’s World 2020), and is represented by Tricia Lawrence of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Sean has written over 10,000 instant poems at events from Maine to Mexico, from The Smithsonian to Willie Nelson’s SXSW festival. Listen to poet Naomi Shihab Nye read one of Sean’s poems at the 2019 Sun Valley Writer’s Conference:

Sean teaches writing workshops for kids & adults, does poems for radio & TV, and sings badly.

He has an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College. On the other side of his brain, Sean has a law degree from Stanford and teaches legal writing at UT Law School. He lives in Austin.


Hometown?  I was born in Columbus, OH, and split my childhood between there and Flower Mound, TX.

First Job?  Dressing up as a Care Bear for the Columbus Zoo. (I was the pink one.)

First Halloween Costume?  When I was 3 or 4, my mom asked what I wanted to be for Halloween. I’m still not sure why I replied: “A green mushroom!” (The hat? She made it from a toilet seat cover.)

First Poem?  Somewhere around 1st grade, I started making up poems. Above is one of my first ones, about the color green. Apparently I had a thing for green!

First Story?  In 2nd grade, I told my classmates that I’d had two poems, about Thanksgiving & Christmas, published in Highlights magazine. Like all stories, it had some truth (I had written the poems), and some not so much (I totally made up the Highlights part).

Favorite Book?  The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin

Favorite Movie?  Dead Poets Society

Favorite TV Show?  Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Buffy forever!)

First (& Only) Job Dressing Up As a Lottery Number?  I was the number three in the Texas Lotto’s “Pick 3” ad campaign.

Number of typewriters owned?  At least 40…

Dream Job?  Owning a typewriter shop!

Number of tattoos?  Only one (for now) – it’s a tattoo of the main typewriter I use for poem-writing.


Really nice profile in WestSide Seattle

Podcast interview on author Mindy McGinnis’s “Writer Writer Pants on Fire,” about poetry & the creative process

Radio interview on Austin’s NPR program, Texas Standard,” discussing the Typewriter Rodeo book

Interview on author Uma Krishnaswami’s blog, about writing & typewriters

Radio interview on Boston’s “WGBH News” – with live, on-air poem-writing!