Kelly Jo - The Writer

Oregonian columnist Margie Boulé called Kelly Jo Horton, “the most popular writer you’ve never heard of.”

Kelly has been writing poetry and short stories for as long as she can remember. She developed her personal style of writing in a rather unusual way: writing letters to friends back home during the year she spent as a foreign exchange student in Finland in high school. Kelly ultimately decided to turn her interest in writing into a degree, and received her B.A. in Journalism from San Diego State University.

During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s she began writing poetry, and had some poems published in local journals. In 1994, when her first son Ashton went off to Kindergarten, she wrote a poem on a small slip of paper and tucked it in his lunchbox. She continued the tradition daily for years, and eventually packaged the poems in books called LunchBox Poetry. She was well-known in the Portland Metro area as “Kelly, The LunchBox Poet” from 1997-1999, when she would call in to local radio station 107.5 The Beat once a week and read one of her poems on the air.

Her stint on The Beat ended when the station was sold and changed formats. She then decided to put her dreams of publishing LunchBox Poetry on hold for a few years while she raised her children as a single parent, and pursued other interests. But, she never stopped writing. She wrote technical manuals, training classes, and lots of poetry. She was one of 100 writers chosen from around the country to attend Judith Barrington’s Flight of the Mind writers retreat in 1995, where she studied poetry with poet Janice Gould.

You can find Kelly’s musings on A Muse View.

Kelly is currently the Writer, Co-Producer and Host/Moderator of the To the Point! political talk show, which is co-produced by TVC-TV in Beaverton, Oregon. The show airs daily on Portland Metro Area cable.

Kelly is a regular contributer to The Portlander, and is currently working on multiple writing projects. Kelly is currently working on a book based on her Ignite performance called "Confessions of a Dating Ninja." You can see the performance on

Lunchbox Poetry

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Lunchbox Poetry