About

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.)

15 responses to “About

  1. Your blog is interesting. I like the way you use imagery in your poems to give pictures that stand alone in my mind yet all connect seamlessly.

    I write, too. But I’m not that great, and I have only been (seriously) writing for about three years.

    • Thanks! I’m often amazed at the power of words, mere sounds and symbols, to evoke so much more. I hope you keep writing — and don’t always write “seriously” — write joyfully, comically, playfully! Best advice I have: do what doesn’t feel like work. Do whatever feels satisfying just to do it, disregarding any outcomes. If it feels like work, or you’re doing it just to get reactions from others, that may not be who you really are. What is natural for you, what seems to come to you automatically, that may be a clue as to what things are most fitting for you, and what things feel the best to you. And try not to judge your early writings as harshly as I judged my own for too-long a time. As long as you’re writing honestly, openly, there is wisdom and brilliance in your writing (even if it takes a couple years’ perspective to see that value, as it does for me).

  2. You indeed have something good going on here…I’m an architect by day and poet by night(well some nights lol)so i would be more than happy to get your criticism on my stuff here on WP (that never gets Freshly Pressed lol).. http://poetryvace.wordpress.com/

  3. Ha! You are indeed a wit and quite possibly a bon vivant … I rather like the name Matt “Hedge Man,” it has purpose to it. My name has no purpose to it, other than to attract crazy people … or perhaps I do that on my own and my name isn’t to blame? See, it’s a chicken and egg thing. Anyway, I love this and … indeed … you do write beautifully, young Hedge Man, and Okalulu County (or whatever, I can’t skim up there at the moment … well, I could, but I didn’t) doesn’t deserve you, albeit you are their pie-eating laureate (or was it poet?). Keep on blogging … you’re brilliant!

  4. Your blog is very interesting, and your writing is engaging. 🙂

  5. “dependent-clause macrame”

    Yeah, that’s fun… I really prefer Underwater Conjunction Weaving 😀

  6. Glad to have found you here Matt. Lots to explore. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (drop by).

  7. Your title of the blog for the Leydig Center brings to mind an item that came in one day. The combined life experiences and education of a doctorate, an engineer, and a couple masters degrees (all volunteers)
    could not figure out what it was. Thanks so much for choosing The Leydig Center for one of your blogs. I found the pictures engaging and the comments full of wit and information. With a store as eclectic as ours, it could provide material forever, especially as the items change all the time. Many times we have a great laugh at an item that we either cannot figure out, or sometimes when we actually do know what it is which is even funnier.

  8. Pingback: What Should Kids Read In School INSTEAD of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird? | The Misfortune Of Knowing

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