1. C.V.K.
    C.V.K. March 13, 2019 at 4:26 pm | | Reply

    Amazing interview from T.O. We can all learn from him! Although he’s been through hell all his life he still manages to keep on pushing! His poetry is awesome! May GOD Bless T.O. and Erica and Susan and anybody else that’s apart of this beautiful podcast! Your podcast can and will encourage millions of people and even save lives! Hoping for many more podcasts to come!

  2. Stan
    Stan March 15, 2019 at 8:28 pm | | Reply

    To T.O., Erica, and Susan, Thank you so much to each of you. The baby may choke on the steak, but if it gets lucky, somebody chew the steak first, then give it to the baby, so it can eat it up just fine. Like Vaughn Hood wrote to me, two years ago ‘You never know who might be walking past you on the sidewalk, let alone someone halfway around the world’. Well, T.O., I am walking, not just past you, but beside you. Kind Regards, Stan.

  3. Cynthia
    Cynthia March 26, 2019 at 11:22 pm | | Reply

    You are in my prayers T.O. I hope you will keep writing poetry and working toward becoming the man you were meant to be. You obviously have it in you to do good things. The playing field of life is not level, and you have had many more challenges than most. For that I am truly sorry, my heart aches for you. You can rise above those challenges, and discover your special gifts and purpose.
    The company you keep will help uplift you or drag you back. I hope you find the uplifting kind. AA, NA and Al -Anon can provide endless support and lasting friendships, and can be found any day of the week wherever you are. I know this from spending many years in Al- Anon. It saved me… from myself.
    Another tool that gave me so much hope and direction was a book entitled ” Bad Childhood, Good Life.” By Laura Schlessinger. I got the audio book from the library and listened to it over and over until I believed that I had the power and the tools to rise above the chaos of my early years. She talks about how to cope when you have no idea of what a normal healthy love filled life looks like. She gives all of us a blueprint. I highly recommend that book for anyone who has suffered childhood trauma.
    I wish you well. I will keep listening, and hope to hear of your progress. Peace.

  4. Barbara
    Barbara April 10, 2019 at 10:30 am | | Reply

    I think T.O. has found his future (in his poetry). I want to hear more from this person whom I’ve come to know from this podcast. Those of us who’ve spent a lifetime covering up (our frailties) in order to “fit” or succeed in life can be easily won by this person who is so real, honest, raw. It tears at one’s heartstrings. What better way to reveal oneself than through poetry. I hope T.O. knows how precious it is to the reader. Thank you both, Erica and Susan, for this introduction and please keep us posted. How do we get T.O into the right hands? Who will be his mentor? Will his poetry go beyond this podcast ? I think you have given T.O. a leg-up by exposing him to the WORLD; let’s see where it goes from here. I hope it will lead to something positive for T.O. so that he comes to know his worth to others.
    Maybe eventually T.O. could be instrumental in changing our approach to incarcerating people without programs to express themselves through the arts not to mention other life skills

  5. Sam Schindler
    Sam Schindler December 13, 2019 at 11:18 pm | | Reply

    Every single person in America should hear this piece. It shatters stereotypes about what a “criminal” is, what a “felon” is, and even what it means to come from a “broken home.” WE have so much to learn from HIM. His explanation of what it means to try and enter a world in which he has never felt comfortable is CRUCIAL – it’s everything. Anyone who thinks it’s simple to shake off the kind of trauma T.O. has suffered and just become a “productive citizen” who follows all the rules of our society needs to hear his story. Though it seems more and more remote these days, I still feel that the only viable route towards changing people’s minds is by telling the stories of others, and having them find some way in, some way to find themselves in the story of someone who’s nothing like them.

  6. Lucie
    Lucie July 30, 2022 at 6:06 am | | Reply

    I just listened to this episode, and the first one with T.O. , many things come to mind but first : is he doing okay today ?

    If you are in touch with him, please let him know that his words are making a difference accross time and the Atlantic, listening to him just blew on my embers in a way that makes me believe in a fire again. Not-rushing to catch up is some skill indeed, I am learning mine in an altogether different universe but his words help like nothing here has so far. I hope he has found his way into the plain life he was working towards.

    This podcast is a gem, thank you Erica ! I keep listening and listening and it keeps broadening up my world in ways that are so precious and illuminating. Good conversations indeed, what a treat.

Leave a Reply to Sam Schindler Click here to cancel reply.

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here


Get the Newsletter

I'll email you when new episodes arrive.

Get the show

Never miss an episode! Subscribe to have the show downloaded to your device:
the iTunes store

Follow me

Extras, chatter, and other observations (and show notices, of course):


  • erica commented on Nature’s Top Deck, with Forrest Foster: I will be interviewing Forrest for as long as (...)
  • Annie Greensfelder commented on Nature’s Top Deck, with Forrest Foster: Please, more Forrest interviews! I want to kn (...)
  • Siobhan commented on Nature’s Top Deck, with Forrest Foster: I really loved this episode. It was also nice (...)
  • Martin commented on Nature’s Top Deck, with Forrest Foster: As a university student from the Netherlands, (...)
  • Deborah A Weatherston commented on Nature’s Top Deck, with Forrest Foster: I love finding your email with announcement o (...)