Maya Stein: The Type Rider
by Sara Rae Lancaster
t's not unusual to see bicyclists on rail-trails—but a bicyclist towing a typewriter? That's exactly what author and poet Maya Stein did for 1,300 miles, as she traveled a mix of rail-trails, bike paths and country roads from her home in Amherst, Mass., to Milwaukee, birthplace of the typewriter.
Supported by Kickstarter, an organization that funds creative endeavors, Stein launched Type Rider: Cycling the Great American Poem, on her 40th birthday, in May 2012. Inspiration for the project came from a childhood memory of a typewriter Stein's father placed in the hallway that linked the family's bedrooms. Each day he would type a line of a short story to be continued, line by line, by the other family members.
To create a metaphorical hallway that linked cities and people through the written word, Stein embarked on a 40-day cycling journey. Along the way, she set up impromptu typing stations in more than 50 cities, where community members could add their own words to the progressive story, ultimately resulting in a cross-country community book. (A publication date for the book has not been set. Her website will have book updates.)
On June 12, 2012, one day away from completing the ride, Stein set up the teal typewriter one more time at Harborside Common Grounds coffee shop in Kenosha, Wis. Here, just 40 miles from her last stop at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, she talked about the adventure. In some ways, she said, that
adventure was only beginning.
Read the complete article by Sara Rae Lancaster online:
The Type Rider (PDF/228KB)