rough cuts 1- “Act Naturally”

Maybe writers are the types who can’t just do one thing – In my spare time I like to make rough cuts of cover songs and sometimes write my own – here’s a brand new cover of “Act Naturally” by Buck Owens. It’s unadorned, quick takes – so if you prefer studio-pretty, don’t like it rough and unpretty, it won’t be for you. But thanks for listening!

reminder: workshop tomorrow

As you’ve heard, I’m bringing back the WWP. It’s been a little over a year, and I’m excited to teach and work with writers in the community again. This is to remind you that the first new workshop is tomorrow. There’s a coupon with a discount to celebrate the re-start. Do please e-mail me back if you are planning on coming so I can be ready with copies and such. More information and register here: If you have problems registering, let me know. Thanks, writers!

go ahead, stick your hands where you can’t see

As a homeowner with a home that requires a lot of “projects,” as Sarah and I call them, I spend a lot of time “repairing and improving.” Luckily for me, I survived my first lesson of DIY home ownership, which is: never, Never, EVER stick your hands into any place you can’t see. Why? Because the house you imagine is not the house you own. The electric outlet wired neatly and correctly in your mind is not the electric outlet you have. What you have is a frayed, loose and incorrectly labelled hot wire waiting to zap your well-intentioned questing fingers. The neat and smooth vinyl siding behind your window shutter is not the vinyl siding you have. What you have is a nest of paper wasps attached to that siding, never having been disturbed until you came along to feel blindly for the screw hole.

But I’m not just a homeowner, I’m also a writer who teaches writing. And I have seen how students take this practical rule for dealing with the unknown in everyday life, and apply it to writing–with the expected consequences that playing it safe has on art.

As a writer, one of the last, hardest lessons I learned after years of practice was that although the dark, unexplored places of the mind are just as likely to zap and sting as are the unseen places in a one-storey, vinyl-sided, previously-owned house of surprises,  the difference is, that’s where you want to go. And while shedding light on a subject is a nice metaphor and good advice for a homeowner, in the case of the creative arts, you can’t turn on the flashlight ahead of time. You have to stick your fingers into the unseen places first, and take your lumps.

the WWP meets again!

I’m so pleased to announce the next Writer’s Workshop Project meeting!

Writers Workshop Project April 14, 2015
Writers Workshop Project April 14, 2015

The Writers Workshop Project (WWP) is like a monthly mini writers’ conference. Each meeting includes socializing/discussing our writing lives, a lesson with exercises on writing craft, and a moderated workshop. If you don’t have a draft, bring your editor’s hat and help critique. Many writers attend just to be inspired. Whether you come for socializing with writers, the craft lesson, or to observe and help workshop, you are welcome. The WWP is open to writers of all levels and genres.

Meetings are usually held one per month.

  • Next Meeting: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
  • Location: Shape & Flow Writing
    1860 Mellwood Ave. Studio 123
    Louisville KY 40206
  • Time: 6-8:30p.m.
  • Beverages and snacks served
  • Fee: $35

Maximum attendance = 8 people

Contact me for questions at workshops/atsign/

If you must cancel, please give 24 hours' notice to receive a refund minus a $10 reservation fee. (If I have to cancel for any reason, your total fee is always refunded.)

In honor of restarting the WWP, you may enter coupon code WELCOMEBK in your shopping cart for $5 off the usual price.

Register now!

I look forward to working with you!
-Michael Jackman

You will be registered using Paypal. When checking out, If you don't have a Paypal account, use the option at the bottom of the Paypal screen to check out using your credit card, as a Paypal guest.

Price: $35.00

Join my 2-week poetry class & workshop

Hello everyone – I’m offering a poetry workshop through Shape & Flow Writing in Louisville. I hope to have the chance to work with you. Here is the announcement:

Beginning Thursday, March 12, from 6 to 8:30, poet and college instructor Michael Jackman will lead a two-session poetry workshop. Read, write and explore poetry! Increase your understanding and competence with the poetic form, as Michael guides you in an exploration of contemporary poems. You’ll create a poem and participate in peer commentary with other aspiring poets.The workshop will expand your understanding of what poetry is and can do.

Michael Jackman received his MFA in poetry from Spalding University. He is a Senior Lecturer in Writing at Indiana University Southeast and has for many years taught creative writing courses and running workshops. A published writer, his poems have found homes in The Louisville Review, Poetica, New Sound, Jewish Currents, The Thomas Merton Seasonal and other magazines. He also directs The Writers Workshop Project.

Pre-registration is required for this two-session workshop. Cost is $60 for both sessions. E-mail kimberly crum via

sunday doggerel

keeps me in poetry practice when there’s little time to write –

When Elli Dyson died
her funeral was sad.
Though her family tried
no mourners were to be had.
When the hearse her casket took
where were her friends that day?
All on facebook,
“liking” the news she’d passed away.


A simple vegan diet
Is very good to eat
So long as you try it
With a large helping of meat

music weekend

Gasp. My Snark clip on tuner battery died! Not that I really need it, but it’s so damn useful on those days when my ears insist on hearing things a little sharper. A trip to Home Depot was in the cards anyway for weather stripping (¡¡¡frost warning this weekend in New Albany!!!), but then I pulled the wrong batteries off the shelf – CR2025s instead of CR2032s. So disappointed, and then looked in my writing desk drawer – and I had a spare CR2032 all along. Definitely a day Snark won. But now I have my tuner back.

typewriter maintenance day

Bugging me for months. Sticky keys on the Olivetti finally solved thanks to finding a repair note on google letting us know the bottom pops off. Spraying isopropyl on the linkages removed the gunk that some poor soul added thinking it makes the keys work better to oil them – it doesn’t. New ribbon, no sticky keys (but the stubborn “5”) and I was inspired to write a letter to a friend just home from jail after a terrible misunderstanding. Now, fresh pages, dark black ribbon, cleaned rollers, and no sticky keys – and I can’t wait to type some of the novel as soon as I can get to it.