Abby Templeton Greene

Writer. Author. Activist.

Who Am I

Abby Templeton Greene is the author of three books of poetry: A Blue House to Sleep In, which is forthcoming with Finishing Line Press, Prayer from a Magdalena Jail Cell and An Avocado Slowly Falling, a book of bilingual poems written in English and Spanish. Her work has been published in McSweeneys, Calyx Journal, RATTLE, Pilgrimage, The Wazee, The Mom Egg Review and other journals. She was the recipient of the 2012 Sixfold Writers contest prize for poetry and the 2011 Lighthouse Writers Seven Deadly Sins Writing Contest, and a finalist in the Blast Furnace Chapbook competition.

Abby lives in Denver, Colorado with her partner and two young children. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Gettysburg College in Latin American Studies and Spanish and earned an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Abby is a fierce believer in the healing power of the arts. She has worked for the past 16 years teaching in public schools enfusing the power of the creative into her classrooms. She is Amherst Writers and Artists certified and runs writing workshops in both Spanish and English with aspiring writers and non-writers of all ages and backgrounds.

A Poem is A House Built By Words

In 2008 I started an after school program at Coliseum Street School in Los Angeles Crenshaw District called Sidewalk Poets. Today I continue to do this powerful work of helping others to write and speak their stories into existence, to howl them at the moon or whisper them into a notebook. Sidewalk Poets is a non-profit organization that empowers individuals and communities through the written and spoken word. 

I have done this work partnering with Los Angeles Unified School District, Denver School of the Arts, Lighthouse Writers, Prodigy Coffeehouse, Amherst Writers and Artists, Denver Public Schools. 

I offer writing workshops of various lengths to people of all backgrounds and ages. I conduct workshops in both Spanish and English and would love to run these workshops in other languages as long as interpretation is provided. I also offer private workshops and craft coaching on a sliding scale basis. If you or your organization are interested in any of these services please contact me at:

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“I used to hate writing but this course changed that cuz now I love it!”

Kimaria TollivierPoet Newcomer

“The instructor was dope as fuck. It was emotional work but the instructor was funny and caring.”

AnonymousPoet Newcomer

“This course was super positive energy, a creative outlet, the teacher was fucking awesome, super rad and understanding and non-judgemental.”

AnonymousPoet Newcomer

“I am going to have these writings forever. Everything I wrote in this workshop was about my baby’s dad, who passed on, which helped me to heal.”

Angelica ValdezPoet Newcomer

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The Ritual of Salt

A former lover enters my apartment window and says
“You always did look better in blue.” He starts taking
photographs of my surroundings--an obnoxious habit.

The Ritual of Salt1

It is night and there is no one left on the block except
him and me, this former lover who is a gate that won’t close.
He reminds me that raindrops always appear bigger

The Ritual of Salt2

from below. “I should know,” he says, “because I am a camera
lens in a storm lying on my back.” I think he is a salt shaker
fallen on his side. Sometimes I can be found waiting for grains

The Ritual of Salt3

to escape, other times I am dressed in a uniform, sweeping him
into a dust pan. Climbing out the window he says “Orange Rind”,
that’s what he used to call me or “She Who Trips on Carpet”,

The Ritual of Salt4

“Why didn’t you ever plant that money tree, like I told you?
You could be rich by now, instead of just a dreaming poet.”

The Ritual of Salt5