In 2012, I set up a typewriter on the street with a sign that said “Poetry Store” and accidentally started my business: RENT Poet.
Over 5,000 poems later, my book of essays, The Poetry of Strangers, profiles the communities I've written for across America, and the desperate desire to be listened to and heard that I found. Excerpts have been published in The Guardian and Rolling Stone, and I've been the official Writer in Residence for unlikely clients from Amtrak to the Mall of America.
I now work with teams of poets to bring poetry to events, provide educational workshops, and advocate for the arts more broadly. RENT Poet has been featured on NPR’s How I Built This and continues to bring typewriter poetry to events. As an educator and advocate, I'm an instructor at the UCLA Extension Writing Program and the Manager of Education for Get Lit - Words Ignite, supporting over 100 schools and thousands of students in writing their own poetry.
Because people always ask...
1. Gate A-4 by Naomi Shihab Nye
2. Dinosaurs in the Hood by Danez Smith
3. Sometimes a Wild God by Tom Hirons
1. Odes to Lithium by Sheila Erlichman (poetry)
2. My Heart is an Idiot by Davy Rothbart (essays)
3. The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby (young adult)