What’s up with tomatoes, though?

Tomatokind gets its name from an appreciation of the myriad shades, shapes, and sources of tomato varieties in the world. Like tomatoes, every locale has an origin story, ancient and modern lore, unique characters, and patterns of life. Tomatokind is a digital magazine featuring the social-emotional fabric of neighborhoods through interviews, prose, art, photography, poetry, and letters.

Who is Vanessa Li?

I am a gatherer - of people, stories, and movements. Here I am:

Vanessa in Dillion Reservoir, CO, USA and Philadelphia, PA, USA, respectively.

In the simplest terms, I am an overzealous community gatherer. I struggle to stay away from lengthy life-story conversations with strangers on commuter bus routes, multi-hour engagements at the dog park with fellow pet owners, and scoping out grassroots workshops & social spaces.

Currently residing in Berkeley, CA, USA, I have been writing for nearly two decades and have experience publishing feature journalism, fantasy, historical fiction, poetry, and translational research. Whether it is for a cause or just to exhilarate, writing has been an enduring passion of mine. Inevitably, I find myself launching a new blog site every couple of years…

In addition to writing, I am a freelance local guide, theatre pit musician, animal assisted therapy handler, public health scientist, and hobby craftswoman and athlete. I look forward to sharing stories from all corners of my communities, and step outside of them to discover and play in the realms beyond.

Why should you subscribe?

With a free subscription, you’ll get:

  • Weekly articles based on human-centered interviews with small-business-owners and grassroots maker & shakers around the world

  • An entertaining window into local sub-cultures in a globalized world

  • Fictional poetry and short stories for your escapism pleasure

With a paid subscription, you’ll receive all the above plus:

  • The opportunity to join Tomato Space, an online get-together that invites diverse narratives, storytelling, and connectedness of all kinds

  • Guidebooks curated by a traveling guide focused on experiences within localities’ social and natural habitats

Subscribe to get every new edition of the newsletter directly in your inbox and full access to Tomatokind’s website, and never miss an update. You may also be interested in following along in Tomatokind adventures @tomato.kind on Instagram.

Subscribe to Tomatokind Magazine

Exploring the social-emotional fabric of neighborhoods and connected beings around the world. Here, you'll find prose, poetry, memoirs, monologues, and oral stories from local makers and movements - sometimes with a sprinkle of fiction.


​​I am deeply invested in the origin and one-of-a-kind stories of people and places around the world. As a creative writer, local guide, and performing artist, I have spent my life documenting the fabric of neighborhoods and their evermore beauty.