On Jack Hirschman and the power of mentorship.
Thanks for sharing your story. Beautiful and transient poetry.
This is touching and beautiful and sad to read, for all the reasons you’d expect, but also because I am so sorry for myself to have not had a mentor like yours, or any mentor for that matter. I feel like an orphan. I worry I’ll never grow into my full poet-ential.
This was wonderful. Thank you!
I’m lucky to have a few “Jacks” in my life... but Paul especially has been instrumental in shaping the educator I am today. Even in his retirement he continues to teach and mentor and support me (& so many others, I’m sure!) and his phone calls seem to come at just the PERFECT moment!
I try to bring Paul into my classroom and allow him to impact and influence an entire new generation of future teachers. I start every class by asking my students if they have any news or anything to celebrate; I invite my students to participate in revised/updated versions of activities I first experienced in his courses; I give my students fist-bumps like Paul always did (something that has transitioned nicely into the Age of COVID)!
I think of my mentors and teachers (& their mentors and teachers) as a sort-of family tree... it helps me see where I came from!
Your story about Jack and your own journey was wonderful. I don't often hear men caring about broken heartedness from such a real perspective. In fact, I don't recall one at all. Thank you for introducing me to your mentor and to your work.
I always enjoyed a certain actress for simply being the (somewhat) godchild of Christopher Hitchens. Like with him, I still enjoy said actress...but my (finally maturing) maturity and long-awaited self-reflectiveness has brought a new lens to both of their work...especially in the absence of much actual written text about their relationship or his influence on her.
I really enjoyed reading, from you, what I always hoped I would read from *cough* the lady who broke Ted Lasso's heart*— an explanation of how a male artist can positively influence a female one AND then be reflected upon seriously, in public...in total honesty.
For what it's worth, your role model seems to be a better man than mine, even if the Hitch was an incredible artist.
Thank you for this art today. Needed it.
As a co-op student working for Louis Kaplan, I once descended into the San Francisco Beat Generation transcribing interviews with Jack Hirschman and David Meltzer for an academic article “Aleph Beat: Wallace Berman between Photography and Film” (somebody please sweep up some of these names :)
I believe Jack mentioned a young poet Amber Tamblyn whom I Googled immediately and she just had a Marylin Monroe-Style magazine cover feature out at that time (Vogue perhaps?). So I learned about you from Jack, which must be a micro-cohort.
I’m currently roughing it without a community of writers, mentors or coaches, but I continue on this long night’s journey called literary career. My second novel Mechanical Bull was published in 2021, exploring past trauma, going back to my lake where the sword that caused the 100 cuts is buried, and using the rage and that pain of it, and letting it into the prose. Scars and salt from tears is what makes us.
What a gift to have someone who can tell you that your work isn't ready yet, that there are layers yet still to be revealed. What respect that shows! Wow.