Who Is This Guy?



In a nutshell:

Michael Jarmer is a writer, teacher, musician, podcaster, actor, and speaker. Retired from teaching English Language Arts after 33 years in public schools, he’s now eager to help others, in a more personal way, reach their creative and developmental goals.

The bonus material: 

My name is Michael Jarmer. I am a recently retired teacher of English Language Arts from a public high school in Milwaukie, Oregon. I liked teaching. I liked it enough to keep doing it for 33 years and I am exceedingly happy that I was able to retire before I reached anything like burnout. I think it’s a rewarding profession, but I’m worried on many fronts, and I’ve been blogging about that as long as I’ve been blogging, and will probably continue to do so. In my next and continuing professional life, I am a freelance writer, a writing coach, a fiction writer, a poet and musician. I’ve self-published a novel through iUniverse. It’s called Monster Talk. You can purchase a copy right here:


or, rather, skip the middle man and buy a copy directly from me at


In April of 2013, I participated in the National Poetry Writing Month by writing a poem a day for a month and publishing each of them here on the blog.  After the 30 days, I kept at it, inside and outside of NaPoWriMo, and I got into the habit of numbering my poems here, only to distinguish them from the prose.  While it is not my form, and while I have no sense about how good I am at it, poetry allows me to blog about almost anything under the sun–so I think I will continue–after all, it has yielded, as of this writing, a little more than 400 poems.

I find I have become over the last decade or so very much interested in meditative practices, mindfulness, formation work, inner work, what I would call secular spirituality. One of the key projects of my adult life, running parallel with my introduction to and now deep involvement with The Center for Courage and Renewal, is that I have tried to live and work with more integrity, bringing into deeper harmony WHO I AM with WHAT I DO, what Parker J. Palmer calls the marriage between soul and role. So, I’m blogging about all that stuff as well under the banner “Mindfulness Practice.” And in recent years I have become certified as a Courage and Renewal facilitator–so we can ad that to this list of stuff I will continue to do professionally in my “retirement.”

Last year I started a podcast called “The Book I Read” about, you guessed it, books that I was reading. The text of those podcasts can be found under the menu item of the same name. I hope to continue doing that work as a self-motivator to read more and as a way to share that joy of reading with others.

I’m the lyricist, singer, and principle percussionist in the Portland piano pop band called Here Comes Everybody. As that musical endeavor turned 30 in 2016, I started blogging about that musical history. You could learn more about the band by visiting the website: http://www.herecomeseverybody.com. I’ve also been writing live music reviews from time to time, (see Well, That Was Mostly Fun, Wasn’t It? and Concert Review Confessions: St. Vincent at the Keller Auditorium). Sometimes I’m just generally musing on music (see Some Things That Sucked About Music in the 80s). But finally, I’ve embarked on this strange and ridiculously ambitious series, Notes Toward A Musical Autobiography, in which I write about every artist or band represented in my cd collection in alphabetical order, a project that I am doubtful about ever being able to finish.

Maybe focus is key in the blogosphere, but, given this range of interests and limited time for multiple and variously specified blog projects, everything will most likely continue to hang under the same proverbial roof. And if there’s something in particular you’d like me to blog about, please let me know. I’d take that kind of thing pretty seriously, and if I felt I could do it, I would. That’s all for now. Thanks for visiting and reading!


p.s.: The photo of me on this page and others, the ones that look like they were done professionally, were taken by Miri Stebivka unless otherwise noted. Check out his stuff at Mirifoto. 

15 thoughts on “Who Is This Guy?

  1. My daughter here in North Vancouver just printed off your poem to use as a reference for her Gr. 11 final exam essay. The kids were supposed to choose a thesis, research three varied sources as support, and use them to compose a piece of expository writing that reflected one of their concerns. Loved “Your Dumb Smart Phone”. It’s now up on our fridge!

  2. Michael,
    I just decided to search you out on a whim because, “The Little Blue Refrigerator” popped into my head. Always loved that song and wish i still have my cassette tape that you gave me! We didn’t work together long at 7-11 but i cherish those fun memories when you worked with my brother Billy and I!
    i love that you took a job at my old high school( i heard through a friends daughter) It was very cool finding you on here!
    xoxo Randi

    1. Randi,

      What a wonderful surprise. You worked the deli, right? I have thought of you often over the years. I remember you as a person with such vitality and warmth and humor. I hope you are well and happy and healthy. If you’d like to hear what I’ve been up to musically since “Blue Refrigerator,” check out the website: http://www.herecomeseverybody.com. So good to hear from you, Randi!


  3. Hello Mr. Jarmer, I’m a high school student in New York researching education reform and I was interested in reaching out to you, I was wondering if there is an email address I can contact you through? Thank you so very much!

  4. Michael,
    I read your prose poem, “The American Teenager is Unstuck in Time (Don’t Know Much About History)” in the fall/winter issue of Oregon English and would like your permission to reprint it in an upcoming issue of The Friends of William Stafford: A Journal and Newsletter for Poets and Poetry, of which I am the editor.

    Tim Barnes

    p.s. You interviewed me long ago at Clackamas Community College for Rhapsody and so this is a particularly enjoyable request, to which I hope you are amenable.

  5. Hi, Michael. Just wish to inform you of your lines in my cento. I left you a comment under your Day 30 poem for this year’s NaPoWriMo with the link to my post from May 27th. Either you still have to confirm the comment, or it got lost. I just wish to make sure you see the new life of your lines in my poem. Thank you for your words!

      1. It may be that your blog refuses to accept comments with links. I’ll post the link in a new comment after this one. If there is nothing, please go to my blog An Embarrassment of Riches and look under May 27th. Thanks!

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