About Inspiration Along the Road

An interview with
Timothy Tocher

Timothy Tocher is a retired teacher and writer from New York state. He writes clever, humorous, and kid-friendly poetry. His work appears in If Kids Ruled the School, No More Homework! No More Tests!, Rolling in the Aisles, Kids Pick the Funniest Poems, and Oh My Darling, Porcupine . He’s also one of Meadowbrook Press’s most outstanding fiction writers.


Q: What first got you interested in poetry?

TT: I liked to read exciting poems like “The Highwayman” from a young age. Then, as a teacher, I saw that my students loved funny poetry.

Q: When did you start writing poetry?

TT: I started writing my own poems about ten years ago. Every Christmas I would write one using the names of the students in my class.

Q: Of all the poems you’ve written, what’s your favorite?

TT: “Help Wanted” from Kids Pick the Funniest Poems. It was the first poem I wrote that attracted the attention of Bruce Lansky and the editors at Meadowbrook Press. Within a few years, Meadowbrook had published more poems; a bunch of short stories; and my first two novels, Long Shot and Playing for Pride.

Q: Who are your favorite poets?

TT: My favorite funny poets are X. J. Kennedy, Shel Silverstein, Kenn Nesbitt, and, of course, the King of the Giggle Poetry, Bruce Lansky.

Q: Why do you write poems for kids?

TT: Kids respond to the humor in my poems. I love showing them that you can have fun with books, reading, and writing.

Q: Where do you get ideas for poems?

TT: Ideas are everywhere. I published a poem in Cricket magazine that was inspired by a street sign! I always carry a pen and notebook so that I can jot down an idea wherever I am.

Q: What are you working on now?

TT: Right now I’m working on funny nursery rhymes, song parodies, and silly poems about scary topics for future Meadowbrook Press anthologies. I am also writing another novel.

Q: What question do kids ask you the most?

TT: Do you know J. K. Rowling? (No.) Do you know Lemony Snicket? (I met Daniel Handler, the man who writes as Lemony Snicket, but only long enough to buy an autographed copy of his latest book.)

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