The Word Faucet

One day a friend asked me to help write poems for strangers at a festival. We sat down behind our typewriters — and it was like someone turned on the word faucet.

Poems flowed. People loved it.

And it surged into Typewriter Rodeo:

Today I have two poetry books, Typewriter Rodeo and Listen to the Trees, and have written over 20,000 poems for strangers.

Here’s Naomi Shihab Nye (not a stranger!) reading one at the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference:

The word faucet’s still flowing with classes, a series of dirt bike kids’ books 🏍, and some other cool projects in the works. . . 🚰😊


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. Two early ones were about Thanksgiving & Christmas.

First Story?  In 2nd grade, I told my classmates that I’d had my poem about Thanksgiving published in Highlights magazine. Like all stories, it had some truth (the poem was real), and some not so much (the Highlights part wasn’t).

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.


All Ways West Seattle podcast (2021)

Texas Country Reporter TV show (2019)

We Are Austin TV show (2019)

WestSide Seattle magazine (2019)

Author Mindy McGinnis’s podcast (2019)

Author Uma Krishnaswami’s blog (2018)

Boston NPR radio … with on-air poem-writing! (2017)