Filed under: Authors
Maya Stein is a Ninja poet, writing guide, and creative adventuress. At nearly 9 years old, she wrote her first poem ("Papa Tree and the Seasons") and earned perfect scores on her spelling test six weeks in a row, an accomplishment noted in her report card by Mrs. Madison at Wenonah Elementary School in Waynesboro, Virginia. She had also discovered—for reasons mysterious to her still—an aptitude for math that landed her in a class in the grade above with her sister Mikhal (who wasn't especially pleased about it). Other highlights from that year include watching Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and being totally freaked out the next morning by a small gathering of crows on a nearby light pole, an obsession with Saturday morning cartoons, and the discovery of two other TV shows—"Charlie's Angels" and "The Incredible Hulk", which figured significantly into her playdates—and the arrival of her baby brother, Adam, to whom she begrudgingly sanctioned the occupancy of an upstairs bedroom across the hall from hers.
Forty years later, Maya is living in mid-coast Maine in a house named Toad Hall with her artist wife, Amy Tingle. How can one summarize her past 4 decades in a single paragraph? Impossible. But perhaps it is enough to say that she can still solve mid-level math problems if needed, that conglomerations of birds still make her slightly uneasy, that the feeling of flexing her muscles can still make her feel like she could lift a car off of train tracks if she had to, and that she loves her siblings fiercely. Other than that, she's written a handful of books (poetry, creative nonfiction, and writing prompt guides), facilitates writing classes and retreats, is a stepmom to two incredible young men, and is trying to follow May Sarton's words of wisdom: "We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be."
Winning Entry: The Poser
Contest Won: North Street Book Prize 2021, Honorable Mention