Ninja poet, writing guide, and creative adventuress.
Maya wrote her first poem, “Papa Tree and the Seasons,” when she was 9 years old. It told the story of the life cycle of leaves, honing specifically on the fate of one little leaf who is the last one clinging to the branch before winter comes. She bound this poem into a little book, filled it with colored-pencil drawings, and proudly offered it up to her parents one evening. She now sees that this quite accurately represents the instincts behind most of her work to date – the desire to capture that which is most fleeting, to locate the heart of its beauty and power, sustain its life through language, and share that language with others.
Maya has published four collections of personal essays, poetry and photographs, including the most recent – “How We Are Not Alone” – a compilation of writings from her poetry blog. Since 2005, she has been keeping a weekly poetry practice and her “10-line Tuesday” poems now reach more than 1,000 people around the world every Tuesday. Maya has been facilitating writing classes, both live and online, since 2010, guiding students through simple, often playful exercises and activities that encourage them to let loose and take risks in order to develop a writing practice that sticks.
At the heart of her teaching and facilitating work is a commitment to telling the truth with compassion and support.
Maya has always sought out creative adventures to weave into her writing life, and has designed projects that bring writing opportunities to unexpected places. Her 2010 Tour de Word was a two-month, 12,000-mile driving trip circumnavigating 30 states, during which she led writing workshops for children and adults. In early summer 2012, she launched “Type Rider: Cycling the Great American Poem,” riding her bicycle for 40 days and more than 1,200 miles from Amherst, MA to Milwaukee, WI, towing a vintage typewriter behind her and stopping daily to gather words from strangers in the communities she visited. The motivation behind these and other projects is to inspire people to share their stories, to make writing more accessible – especially to those who don’t consider themselves writers – and to build community through creative action.
Amy Tingle is an award-winning wordsmith, a former designer of button-themed jewelry, and a stickler for the serial comma.
Her first creative project most likely involved finger paint and then something made of acorns, flower petals, and moss surely followed next. She has been a snack-stand attendant on the Jersey shore, a retail sales associate at Marshall’s, a waitress, an elementary and middle school teacher, a managing editor at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, and most recently, the mother of two amazing teenage boys.
Amy is passionate about travel, and even the smell of an airport gets her mind whirring with adventure. Her ultimate bucket list includes heading to Newark Airport, randomly choosing a spot on the destination board, and hopping a flight. Some of her favorite destinations include Italy, France, Ireland, Costa Rica, California, and Johnsburg, Illinois. For Amy, the best part about travel is culinary discovery: rigatoni with hot peppers in Isernia, falafel in the Marais district in Paris, homemade brown bread in Dublin, crabs on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, and Cheez Doodles in Johnsburg.
In 2010, sensing a need in the community to make creative expression more accessible, Amy founded BraveGirlsArt, which offers art and self-empowerment workshops to girls and women. Year-round classes and weeklong summer camps invite participants to tap into their creativity, share ideas, find common ground, and discover new and exciting ways to express themselves. More often than not, glitter or spray paint is involved.
“Tingle” is actually Amy’s middle name. Some of her friends call her “Tingley” or “Tinkle,” and her alter ego has always been Sabrina from Charlie’s Angels.
What we love about working together is seeing all of the places our skills and experience combine to inform our business. But we also equally value vulnerability because we know creativity demands this in order to grow. Weʼve embarked on the journey of this collaboration recognizing that we must remain flexible, open, curious, adventurous, and willing when it comes to developing our work together. Along the way, weʼre discovering that our commonalities (our love of orange, for example) as well as our differences (Mayaʼs an introvert and Amyʼs…well…not) are what will keep our business vibrant, productive, and inspiring. At the heart of it all is our belief that good communication, honesty, and transparency are the key ingredients to success…in business and in life!