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Jonathan Mack

Somatic Story Coach

Jonathan Mack trained, as a teenager, at a monastery in the Himalayan foothills and returned to the US determined to become a Buddhist monk. A charismatic teacher persuaded him to become a writer instead, but he remains committed to a life of voluntary simplicity, devoted to the practice of writing and to the study of sacred and secular literature. He has an intense love for experimental and non-traditional narratives, especially those that combine poetry and prose, or create a mosaic of many small parts.

 

Jonathan holds a double BA in Religious Studies and Writing from Naropa University, and an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has worked as an editor in the US and Japan, assisting large and small presses, translators, authors, and students. Jonathan’s editing practice centers on encouragement and precision as essential and indivisible qualities, each in its own time. He emphasizes what he, himself, needed most to learn: that you are not disqualified and it is not too late.

 

His story, “The Right Way to Be Crippled and Naked,” was included in (and lent its title to) an anthology of fiction about disability and is now taught at a number of universities. Other stories, essays, and poems have been published in The Denver Quarterly, Quarter After Eight, Eleven Eleven, the Tokyo Advocate, Japanzine, and dozens of other journals. In 2016 he was a Lambda Literary fellow in fiction and in 2022 was awarded a poetry fellowship by Zoeglossia. For a decade he taught 19th and 20th literature in Tokyo, including a popular seminar on Emily Dickinson.