In July 2014, we undertook a project that brought together creativity, collaboration, and community. Type Rider II: The Tandem Poetry Tour was a month-long, 1,400-mile trip we took by tandem bicycle from Boulder, Colorado to Beloit, Wisconsin. We partnered with Little Free Library, a Wisconsin nonprofit promoting literacy and a love of reading, to help build and install at least 20 free community book exchanges along our route. We launched a Kickstarter campaign in February to help fund support for the project.
The Tandem Poetry Tour was the second installation of a traveling writing project Maya began in 2012. Type Rider: Cycling the Great American Poem was a 40-day, 1,200-mile bicycle journey from Amherst, Massachusetts to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during which Maya towed a typewriter behind her and invited people she encountered at each stop to contribute to a collaborative collection of writing. She collected the stories from the project into e-book, available now through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and shortly in Apple's iBooks.
Maya's journey was documented by several publications, including The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Rails-to-Trails Magazine, and The Writer. For a full list of articles, visit www.mayastein.com/news.
We launched Type Rider II to celebrate and continues the work of Lutie Stearns, the original Little Free Librarian, who from 1894-1914 traveled the wilds of Wisconsin to deliver "traveling libraries" to the state's rural communities. These were simple wooden boxes filled with books and other printed manner, and over the course of 20 years, Lutie created 1,400 of these libraries, bringing literature to those hungry to read but with little to no access to books or news. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Lutie's retirement, and we are spending the month of July building new libraries in her honor. And we now have two more right here at home!
Go here for a full list of links to online and print articles and video pieces about this project.