Tonia Marie Harris

personalized poetry on a vintage typewriter


Tonia Marie Harris

Tonia Marie Harris resides in south-central Illinois with her husband, three children, and three rescue animals. She lives happily (albeit frantically) among chaos, poetry, and books. Her muse is a cross-dressing goblin with a penchant for rum and Kafka novels. She is Vice President of WME Community Works, a non-profit organization that spearheaded the recent development of a grassroots library that serves her village and the surrounding communities. Tonia find inspiration helping children of all ages discover, or rekindle, their love for literature and learning. Where there are stories and children, there is magic. Where there is magic and a safe place for dreaming, there is love. Poetry is where her heart and truth reside and her latest venture involves bringing verse to the public in all its intimacy. She types personalized poetry on a vintage typewriter, wherein she delivers her poem to its recipient the old-fashioned way (snail mail), or can be found spinning verse at art and music festivals and local establishments. In addition to free verse, Tonia writes flash fiction and the occasional fairy tale. Her work has appeared in an artisan magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, and various anthologies. She is also an administrative assistant for Writer Unboxed. Chocolate is her kryptonite. You can connect with Tonia on Twitter @TMarieHarris, or on her website,

Paper Lilies


Where the stem meets the sepal on this bloom is longing.

The earth draws breath and I rise. A little higher

my toes drawing fine lines in the dirt. The crown

of my head lifted until I fear

you will see the dew on my cheeks

and mistake it for mourning.

Hold yourself still where you are.

Stay all your conclusions.

All the house lights dim.

I feel the heat of your impartial gaze

along my collarbone. Fetch the girl

an arch, a cusp where all her weight resides.

The best dreams are the lonely ones, I need no one

to save me but my neglect for the one

I was. She was there.

I kissed her fingers.


curled her hand in my fist and bit lips

my lips, their speech imbued

with apology.

I will take all the weight of myself

learn the art of origami and send

you all a thousand hellos tasting

of the ache we crave.

The ache where our will resides.


What I Do

Poet and south-central Illinois resident Tonia Marie Harris writes personalized poems on her vintage typewriter for you or as a gift for a friend, lover, or family member. Tell your story, or give her a prompt, and she’ll type it in free verse.

Tonia is available for weddings, festivals, fundraisers, wine tastings, fundraisers, corporate events, and more. She creates poems using her vintage Smith-Corona typewriter on-the-spot. The 4×5 poems are typed on quality card stock paper and tucked into pretty envelopes. She can coordinate the paper and envelopes to your event specifications. Tonia brings creativity and intimacy to every event, and your guests or clients walk away with a unique gift for themselves, or a for a loved one.

If you want to hire Tonia for  an event, or order a personalized poem for yourself or a loved one, please email :, or call 618-238-9213.


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