Amber Tamblyn

Golden Globe-nominated Actress
Acclaimed Performance Poet


“Amber…snarls your guts with poetry truth serum…Poems about acting and essence played out with a slash and burn humor—in a voice theatrical but totally grounded.” – Bob Holman

"Here's a poet with the courage and liveliness to speak for her generation—and for mine. She is not afraid of politics or anti-politics of either the government or of her body, including the twists of emotional beauty and deep rage. To paraphrase Emerson, these poems are as old as the rock and as new as the foam." —Michael McClure


Amber Tamblyn was born and raised in Venice, California, and is a third generation Californian. She has been a writer and actress since the age of 9. She has been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Independent Spirit Award for her work in television and film. In 2007 she won the Locarno Film Festival award for Best Actress for her work in the film Stephanie Daley, in which she starred opposite actress Tilda Swinton. She came to fame on the soap opera General Hospital and is most recognized for her work as Joan on the CBS television program Joan of Arcadia. She co-starred in the 2010-2011 series of FOX’s television show House and starred in the TV series The Unusuals. In 2013, Tamblyn was selected for a role on CBS's Two and a Half Men. Other film roles include Danny Boyle’s critically acclaimed, 127 Hours opposite James Franco, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, among others. She appears in Horton Foote’s film Main Street (2010) opposite Colin Firth.

A short interview with New York Magazine

Amber Tamblyn is the author of two poetry collections, Bang, Ditto (Manic D. Press, 2009), an Independent Best Seller, and Free Stallion (Simon & Schuster, 2005), her debut collection which Lawrence Ferlinghetti called, "A fine, fruitful gestation of throbbingly nascent sexuality, awakened in young new language.” The book won the Borders Book Choice Award for Breakout Writing in 2006. Currently, she is working on a collection of persona poems accompanied with paintings by Marilyn Manson about child star actresses who grew up into virtual unknowns and died young. Amber’s first published poem “Kill Me So Much” appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle when she was 12, having been submitted by her writing mentor Jack Hirschman (Poet Laureate of San Francisco 2009). Her poems have since been published in New York Quarterly, San Francisco Chronicle, Poets & Writers, Pank Magazine, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Interview, and others. She has self published two collections of poetry, art, and photography, Plenty Of Ships and Of The Dawn, and has collaborated with Semina Culture artist George Herms to create a limited edition book of collage and haiku dedicated to Jazz Musician Thelonious Monk entitled The Loneliest

In addition to her powerful solo poetry readings, Amber also presents "Not-Your-Typical-Poetry-Reading" with her mother Bonnie Tamblyn. In their one-of-a-kind presentation, Amber reads her poems and prose from Bang Ditto while Bonnie plays guitar and sings original songs. The elements of poetry, music, singing, and witty back-talk are interwoven to create a melange of intimate and funny storytelling. In Amber's words, "It's a variety show wrapped inside a Vaudeville show wrapped inside a gene pool. It is a collaboration of sass, grief, triumph and sometimes (if it's not at a school) Maker's Mark Whiskey." While Amber's poems frame the small pictures of a difficult life working in Hollywood for the past fifteen years, Bonnie's songs take on the bigger picture of life, love, and growth in general, making for an endearing and thought provoking artistic conversation that goes beyond a traditional Mother/Daughter act. These two women are best friends who have lived multiple lives—on screen and off. Their show is nothing short of a punk rock lullaby for sleeping hearts, ready to be awoken.

Amber is the Executive Producer of The Drums Inside Your Chest, an annual poetry concert that showcases outstanding contemporary poets. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit Write Now Poetry Society which works to build an audience for unique poetry events. She currently writes for The Poetry Foundation and is a poetry reviewer for Bust Magazine. Amber lives in New York City with her betrothed, comedian David Cross.

About BANG DITTO (Poetry, 2009)

“Punchy, spiky, and flush with a young writer’s love of language, the collection often deglamourizes the acting business …” — Library Journal

We'd all love to stop eating the poisonous parts of our wildness. Ever wondered what it's like to be a celebrated Hollywood actor from the age of eleven? With insightful, no BS, cards-on-the-table poetry that is quite serious yet has fun with metaphor, imagery, and language itself, author Amber Tamblyn gives readers a backstage pass to the show inside her mind. Whether she's describing real life info-gathering for a new prime time TV drama ("Role Research") or addressing the crossroads of public perception and private life ("Fell Off"), Amber Tamblyn reveals questions, answers, and more in Bang Ditto, wielding metaphors mercilessly in a wry and talented voice.

Amber Tamblyn website & blog