I’m Matt Hagemann. I used to think I was the only person in the world with this name, but that was in the days before I could search online and find many others who are living their days under our shared name.
So, if my name doesn’t make me unique, I gotta find something else by which I may be identified. I am the Matt Hagemann who studied philosophy as an undergrad and who has worked, at various times, as a tobacco stacker, a train-tracks sweeper, an agricultural reporter, a hamburger-flipper, and a physics instructor. Now my gig is teaching creative writing and other “language arts” (like “dependent-clause macrame”!) to high school students. And at least I’m the only Matt Hagemann living at my address (and, a note to my future Boswell: I’m the devastatingly handsome, bon vivant, gentleman-of-the-world Matt Hagemann). Not too bad for someone whose surname means “hedge-man,” which I’m assuming was granted because my German peasant ancestors were also bon vivant men of the world).
My writing career has included stints at The Daily Illini, The Daily Item, Illinois Agri-News, and WILL-AM. In recent years, I’ve been publishing exclusively at this blog since it named me Ogle County Poet Laureate. This blog has allowed me to try many things that wouldn’t likely find a home in a more-narrowly focused institution. See here for some of the finest of the Collected Matt Hagemann.
(A word about the name: “MonkeyMoonMachine” is a phrase that came to me when I was, on a whim, following the line “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen,” in the Lady Gaga song “Born This Way,” with “just be a monkey moon machine,” which fit the rhythm and the rhyme. I liked the sound of these words — but as my brain tends to do with any set of words, it found a meaning: monkey, moon, and machine describe the three action sequences of the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.” It seems my brain does both this word-sound-play and this meaning-search automatically, as if to keep itself busy.)