Henry Goldkamp

A typewriter for the "What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking?" project sits in the Central West End in 2013. Passers-by were encouraged to anonymously share their thoughts.
Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

In 2013, Henry Goldkamp decorated St. Louis with 40 typewriters. Each of the manual typewriter stations asked passers-by to tap out their thoughts.

Goldkamp dubbed the project “What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking?” and has published a curated book of responses. The book, also called “What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking?,” will be released on Nov. 22.

So what is St. Louis thinking?

Update: Snow Didn't Stop Poetree Project In Forest Park

Dec 12, 2013
Tom Nagel

Update Dec. 15: New snow did affect Poetree. It brought in some people who might otherwise have not visited the installation. About 400 poems were submitted and another 600 were installed in a grove between the Art Museum and Zoo, including original works submitted to the project. 

At photographer Tom Nagel’s suggestion, historic preservationist Michael Allen mailed "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden to the mayor.

A crowd at Climb So iLL
Zoë Scharf | Sloup

Sloup has been hosting monthly crowd-funding soup dinners in St. Louis since 2010. But the one on Dec. 8 at Climb So iLL (1419 Carroll St.), differed from the usual -- and not just because a gym staffer was clambering across the rock wall above the crowd. No arts groups presented proposals for bike-generated sound systems or giant murals. No votes were cast. There wasn’t even soup.

St. Louis Public Radio

For the past year, St. Louis Public Radio producer Erin Williams has covered regional race matters, diversity and culture as part of an inaugural fellowship made possible, in part, by a grant from the Public Policy Research Center.

Her last day is today, October 18, 2013, and we wish her well as she continues her journalism career.

Williams' commentary about her one year in St. Louis as well as her conversation with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh appear below:

Henry Goldkamp can take his typewriter anywhere.
Robert Rohe

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Henry Goldkamp was smiling as he paced the sidewalk outside of St. Agatha Church with his cell phone pressed to his ear. "Inquiries,” he would later explain.

St. Louis’ "Rogue Poet” has been receiving many of those since launching What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking (WTHSTL) in August.

Erin Williams

  Henry Goldkamp has established himself as a bit of a writing fixture in the arts world of St. Louis. He spends his weekdays working in his family’s construction business, but on the weekends you can find him around town at his mobile office, banging out short vignettes of happiness, fear, love and passion on his manual typewriter as sole proprietor of Fresh Poetry, Ink.