“Be in Love with Yr Life” — A Online Summer Writing Course with The Book of Mev*

From time to time I’ve learned how some readers of The Book of Mev recognize themselves in Mev Puleo’s words, say, from her letters and journals. They remind of the French novelist Marcel Proust, who wrote: “In reality every reader is, while she is reading, the reader of her own self. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers to the reader to enable her to discern what, without this book, she could perhaps never have perceived in herself.”

In this late summer-early fall writing class, I invite you to read (or reread) and write off of stories, themes, and questions from The Book of Mev. We’ll explore topics like being present, community, accompaniment, faith, spirituality, the state of the world, the state of the soul,  friends, mentors, teachers, creative arts (e.g., photography), travel, breakdowns, breakthroughs, illness, celebrating, grieving, letting go, poetry, El Salvador, Palestine, Haiti, schools, gospels, letter-writing, gratitude, bearing witness, and much else.

We go  for eight sessions,  from Sunday 20 August to Sunday 8 October.  Each Sunday I will email participants an agenda  to direct reading, writing, and sharing in the week ahead.

Time Commitment:  You’ll need approximately 1 to 2 hours a week, more if you have the energy.  It’s not necessary to do an entire agenda in one sitting; feel free to space it out over the week.

Communal Sharing: We will have a class blog to share our questions, insights, poems,  photos, travel logs, and reflections.  If I see that people are in the same city, I’ll connect you and you can see if you’d like to meet up to write together. Also, I will connect kindred spirits to the best of my ability.

I am happy to correspond (via USPS), text, chat, phone, or email you, as you like.

Tuition: $125, check made to Mark Chmiel, or Paypal.

Essential book: The Book of Mev

A couple of recommended texts:  Diane di Prima, The Poetry Deal; Sebastiao Salgado, From My Land to the Planet.

Recommended film: También la lluvia [Even the Rain]

Please contact me if you are interested in this class! Or pass this information on to someone who might be looking for some time and support for writing.

Present moment, wonderful moment,


text: 314-807-8769

*Jack Kerouac, epigraph to The Book of Mev

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