She eventually did publish two books of poetry. A third, a poetry and painting collaboration with shock-rocker Marilyn Manson, is in the works.
"That might take a year or so," she laughed. "He's off on tour being his fabulous self, wrapped in saran wrap."
The two were introduced a few years ago by a mutual friend.
"He's a phenomenal artist and painter," she said, "and he's just very poetic."
Tamblyn said she doesn't know much about Manson's music. They're friends and artistic co-conspirators.
Tamblyn has always surrounded herself with artistic and inspiring people. She's had a lot of mentors, including San Francisco poet laureate Jack Hirschman and poet/professor Jeffrey McDaniel, who helped her with her second book, "Bang, Ditto."
She also reads a lot of poetry. Tamblyn can rattle off a half-dozen favorites without even trying. Mindy Nettifee, Anne Sexton, Bob Hickock and Leonard Cohen are just a few.
"Cohen's 'Flowers for Hitler' is such a fantastic book," she said, adding that she's not really into his music.
"Who I like is all over the place, but what I like is poetry that resonates with the author, that means something to the creator. The most important poem is the one that's emotionally connected."
She can't stand poems written as an academic exercise, the kind meant to impress. She said, "I think a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to 'create' a great poem as opposed to intuit a great poem."
Writing poetry, she believes, doesn't have to be so hard. It doesn't have to be about obeying rules and forms.
The answer, to her, is metaphor and finding a way to say something without just saying it outright and, in doing that, saying something that means more than a simple statement of fact.
"Everybody has got their own technique," she said. "The question is how do you tap into that inner voice that feels like stream of conscious, that feels like it's connected to something deeper than just writing in a journal?"
Tamblyn said she's looking forward to coming to West Virginia and is proud to be part of Poetry Out Loud.
"I like to be where there's a large group who supports poetry and good poetry shows," she said. "That's where the growth is."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.