Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

A Table, A Typewriter, A Way of Life

Written by Joe Ulrich, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Apr 15, 2014 10:16 AM

Abi Mott

Photo by Joe Ulrich

Name a price. Pick a subject. Get a poem.

Abi Mott's business model is simple. Abi is from Lancaster originally but now lives in Denver, CO. After high school she met a man in San Francisco who typed poems for people on the street, and then she took up the craft herself. She's traveled across the country and set up a small table, a typewriter and a sign with her simple business model printed in big letters.

"The benefits of this [are] I feel like I'm practicing my craft," Abi says. "The interaction with people is amazing. I love meeting people and hearing what they want me to write about. Also it's having something of my own...this is mine. I can't get fired from this job. I can take it wherever I want to go. It allows me to be mobile or not be mobile if I don't want to be. So it gives me an immense freedom."

Abi Mott

Photo by Joe Ulrich

While writing poetry in Portland she caught the attention of independent filmmaker Barrett Rudich who subsequently followed Abi around with a film crew and produced the film A Place of Truth

The film will be showing at Zoetropolis this weekend and both Abi and Barrett will be there for a talk after the film.

More photos of Abi below.

Abi's website:

A Place of Truth:


Watch the trailer:

The Trailer from Portfolio Productions on Vimeo.

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  • jill img 2014-04-16 07:39

    great story Joe and thanks but please, a 'girl' in her early twenties? it's a detail but she's past puberty. Would a 'boy' in his early twenties not sound weird to you? She's an adult by then...if you must, she's a 'young' woman if that's easier. but 'girl?'

    • Joe Ulrich img 2014-04-16 07:44

      That's a good point. I guess in my lexicon and that of those around me most often, "girl" is frequently used as the opposite of "guy". "Girl" tends to encompass a wider age range than "guy", but I agree, "woman" or "young woman" would have been more appropriate.

  • jill img 2014-04-16 11:43

    I just now heard it fixed! THANKS!
    I am not sure how you did that but i guess that's something radio experts can do :-)
    I agree, 'girl' is often used as the opp of 'guy', but truly, I think if it IS the opposite of 'guy' it's only because it's a remnant of a time, not completely gone, of inequality.
    We women do it to ourselves too when we talk about 'girlfriends' and we are in our 50s!, etc, it sounds really odd. Or I hear guys (boys?) in the office say something about the 'girls' in the office.
    Thank you. I wish everything I complained about were addressed so quickly. :-)

    • Joe Ulrich img 2014-04-16 12:35

      Yes I fixed it after reading your comment using a little editing magic.

      And I agree, it probably is a remnant of an older time, and when I really gave it some thought, it did seem a bit derogatory. I'm certainly no stranger though to treating women equally; I have three older sisters who keep me in line :)

  • Joe Damico img 2014-04-16 14:26

    Did she leave any contact info in case folks like me would like to pay her for a poem? Professional email address? I found her tumblr account listed above, but there is no way to contact her on that site.
    Joe Damico
    Harrisburg, PA

  • muskhanali img 2016-10-03 11:25

    That is very interesting information for all the typewriters because in this way they can easily write on paper online and other topics. Therefore, i shall share this information with my friends and others because i want that they also learn about new things. I hope that you will share fast new topics with us.