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About Lisa Watts

I'm proud to say that I've made a living as a writer and editor all my adult life, in one form or another—not to mention typing up family newsletters featuring my news reporting, poetry, and sketches for five cents an issue, a grade-school one-woman shop.


I edited university and city magazines before moving into nonprofit communications, which really means telling stories strategically for a number of organizations and university institutes.

Born in Cleveland, I grew up in Atlanta, Baltimore, and Boston. I met my husband, Bob Malekoff, down the hall at Northeastern University in Boston. We married and raised two kids in Connecticut, Ohio, and North Carolina. Now, in our third act, we recently relocated to Rhode Island with one last elderly pup, Juno.

With so much training in writing about others' specialized knowledge for general audiences, writing Crossing Bridges was a big leap. I thought I was writing a travelogue about my bicycle trip. But with prodding from editors, I learned to dig a bit deeper to tell you about the emotional journey I took at the same time, the one that has stayed with me.

—Lisa A. Watts

Lisa and her Miyatabw .jpeg

Circa 1984 on my 12-speed Miyata


Recent writing

The Bucket magazine ran my essay, "My transitional trek: How two months on a bike helped me embrace my third act," in April 2024.


A shorter version of the introduction to Crossing Bridges was included in the 2023 anthology Sooner or Later, including a six-minute audio version read by series editor Randell Jones.

"I went searching for the perfect place to live in retirement—and got lost along the way," April 2022 essay for MarketWatch

"Build mental toughness by training your brain," post for Fleet Feet blog, September 2019

the Miles

Taking note of days on the run and other mid-life ponderings

Since my mid-50s or so, I've been paying attention, as Mary Oliver urged us to do, on my blog, "Minding the Miles." It's all in there: running, biking, marriage, kids, dogs, friends, and more.

“One of the deep pleasures of Good Roots: Writers Reflect on Growing Up in Ohio is its rousing examples of the intimacy of place… Editor Lisa Watts had the clever idea of inviting 20 gifted poets, novelists, and nonfiction writers to consider their Ohio beginnings. She enhances the appeal of this anthology with childhood snapshots at the start of each writer's section.”

—The Plain Dealer

Good Roots

Writers Reflect on
Growing Up in Ohio

Ohio University Press, 2006

I was raising our kids in a small Ohio college town and it dawned on me that many of my favorite writers were from the Buckeye State. I started wondering what that meant, which grew into creating this anthology, published in 2006 by Ohio University Press. Working with so many talented writers—among them Anthony Doerr, Ian Frazier, Mary Oliver, and P.J. O'Rourke—was a dream. Talking about the book, writing, and Ohio with ten of the contributors at the first annual Ohioana Book Festival, capped off with a celebration at the governor's mansion, was icing on the cake.

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