The Poet Behind Gio’s Typos
by Rachel Freeman
Giovanni Cerro carefully ran a cloth along the side of a baby blue typewriter at Black Crow Coffee’s new Grand Central location. Sitting outside on the patio, surrounded by little plants and local art, Cerro cleaned the typewriter in silence, paying close attention to the intricate details of the beautiful, old machine.
Cerro started Gio’s Typos in 2018 after leaving his job at Tesla. He wasn’t happy working grueling, long days that added up to stressful weeks. After he left Tesla, Cerro went on a three week trip to Seattle and California, where he was inspired by someone he saw with a typewriter on the street. Cerro has a background in cleaning typewriters and writing motivational blogs.
“I knew I could write for myself, but I wanted to write for others, too,” said Cerro.
Have Typewriter, Will Travel
“My dream life is to write,” said Cerro. “I’m rolling with it and seeing where it takes me.”
Cerro sets up his typewriter on the street or at local markets and festivals, writing poetry for people. He used to wake up early before his long work days at Tesla to write poetry. Now, Cerro’s job is doing what he loves the most.
“Doing this was the craziest idea I had,” said Cerro. “I did it on a whim, but my crazy ideas tend to take off like fire. I saw beauty and talent within myself that I was once unaware of. I want to show others that they have that, too.”
Cerro referred to Gio’s Typos an an “energy exchange.” People come to him with a word or topic and he creates a poem for them, based on what he was told.
“Some people are deeper than others, but it all comes down to sharing space with another person and making connections,” said Cerro. “We often feel alone and when you’re dealing with those feelings, you think no one else understands. Having someone relate to you on that same emotional level makes you realize you’re not alone.”
It wasn’t just yesterday that Cerro started crafting poetry. He’s been writing since he was nine years old. He wrote his first poem for a girl he had a crush on in fourth grade.
“I learned a lot pretty early on in life,” said Cerro. “I grew up fast, but my experiences help me relate to other people.”
The best part about writing poetry, for Cerro, is getting to touch people emotionally. He views writing as an outlet to help process feelings.
“I incorporate a lot of personal experience when I write,” said Cerro. “I search myself and convey what I find back to people. My favorite part is making those emotional connections.”
Sunshine City Support
Cerro is especially appreciative of the support he’s received from the local community. He loves St. Pete’s eclectic, creative crowd. There’s never a dull moment in the Sunshine City, according to Cerro.
“Everyone here has a dream or a goal,” said Cerro. “If you say, ‘hey, this is what I want to do.’ St. Pete is like, ‘okay, let’s do it!’”
You can find Cerro at various coffee shops across the city, writing poems and creating memorable connections with locals. He vends at the Saturday Morning Market, Indie Flea, and Royal Palm Market, all in St. Pete. The creative community in the ‘Burg has helped Cerro fulfil his passion.
“To all the people who sit in front of coffee shops and write, thank you,” said Cerro.
Earlier in his life, Cerro had thoughts of becoming a motivational speaker. He wanted to be able to connect with people and help uplift them. Now, he’s able to serve that mission with Gio’s Typos.
“Aspiring writers shouldn’t worry about pleasing others,” said Cerro. “It’s better to do what you love and fail than to constantly be writing in secret.”
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