About Jeremy Nathan Marks

I am a writer and an independent educator living in London, Ontario, Canada. I am seeking a publisher for my first book of poetry and am always on the look out for opportunities to read my work in public.

New poem published: “Message from Bongo Brown”

My poem “Message from Bongo Brown” can be read here:

http://magazine.thebluenib.com/article/poetry-by-eileen-hugo-wanda-morrow-clevenger-and-jeremy-nathan-marks/

I am especially pleased that this poem was published as it is one of my “love letters” to Detroit, Michigan.

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A new poem appearing

I learned this morning that my poem “Message from Bongo Brown,” will likely appear this coming week over at The Blue Nib. I welcome this news because this poem and some of its siblings, have bedevilled me. By that I mean, it has been exceedingly difficult to find a home for them.

By no means do I expect that any periodical should publish my work: that would be foolish in the extreme. What has been puzzling to me is where a writer who writes about history, socio-economic and ecological-cultural change should send his/her poetry. The market for poetry, as per my limited understanding, does not seem at all geared toward poetry of the style or substance which I find myself writing. Now, this could be the lament of someone who is simply struggling as most writers struggle; so take what I say with a grain of salt. I certainly do. But I have been searching for a proper home for a body of my work which focuses especially on the history of Detroit, Michigan. Therefore, this morning’s news was encouraging.

When the poem appears I will link it here.

Oral history and a belief in a dialogical future

I had a very helpful and productive conversation with a good friend of mine the other night. He suggested that I expand DEMOI into the field of oral history/public history. I think his idea is outstanding.

For those of you who have been reading and following my page, you know that I have a podcast called ‘Talking to Canadians’ which features quite lengthy interviews (more are scheduled, by the way). As the podcast has evolved it has become less of a podcast and more of an oral history project. I am thoroughly enjoying the work and I have been wanting to expand the interviewing that I do.

In London there are many opportunities to explore the history and heritage of the city’s many neighbourhoods. Right now there are several proposed “Heritage Districts” which will require that researchers go out into the communities and interview residents about the history of their homes, neighbourhood stores and organizations and to talk with them about their life in their neighbourhoods. As you might imagine, I want to be a part of this and will be looking to join in the effort.

I am starting to think of DEMOI not only as a place of Socratic teaching, learning and discussion, but also as an inchoate institution (if I am allowed to use that word without sounding pretentious). My dream is to build an educational project that is capable of pushing back against the top-down, hierarchical methods that are used to steer people toward professional, vocational and occupation futures -not to mention, maintain class futures- which limit the scope of human potential. Better yet, I have a dream of combatting the alienation of labour, the tyranny of work which impacts so many of us.

I have long held to the belief that alienated labour or workplace tyranny is not inevitable. I see DEMOI as an attempt to work with people of all ages to find alternatives to a world of work-for-profit, work-for-competition and work-for-complacency. I see oral history as part of a broader dialogical process which has the potential to reexamine and potentially redefine human relationships. I believe, following in the footsteps of radical educators like Paulo Freire and Henry Giroux, that dialogue is a powerful device for personal and social liberation and that it engenders broader empathy. Already I am attempting to use oral history in my work as an independent educator. Here’s to believing that this endeavour can be part of a broader effort toward a better, more democratic future.

Episode 10 of ‘Talking to Canadians’

I am very pleased to present Episode 10 of ‘Talking to Canadians’ which is my interview with Leslie Pidlubny. This episode is entitled: “I like people.”

Leslie is a person who wears many different hats. She is an employee of the London Public Library; she is involved in animal rescue; she is an entrepreneur; she is also a collector of artwork, a bricoleur and someone who specializes in the rehoming of family heirlooms.

Ryan O’Connor and I opted for the title “I like people” because this statement (which is Leslie’s) captures the enthusiasm, humanity and gusto with which my guest pursues her many personal and professional projects. She is someone who has a passion for life, for the intricacies and textures of our world and, above all, for the stories that people and objects carry with them.

I call Leslie a bricoleur because she has the refined eye of the turn-of-the-century rag picker who could find gems in the most unlikely or overlooked places. She sees the stories and vested emotions that are embedded in people and in the things they part with -both voluntarily and involuntarily. She is also someone who is loathe to see anyone, any animal or any thing as disposable.

It was a vivifying experience to sit down and talk with her. I hope you tune in to our conversation: https://ryanoconnor.ca/talkingtocanadians/2017/8/21/talking-to-canadians-episode-10-i-like-people

‘I believe in connection’ -Episode 9 of ‘Talking to Canadians’

Here is Episode 9 of ‘Talking to Canadians’ featuring my conversation with Leigh Shand, an Ayurveda yoga instructor based here in London.

I have entitled this episode “I believe in connection,” a statement Leigh made at the beginning of our conversation. I think that everything that we discussed about mindfulness, Being, consciousness, awareness and understanding of the human shadow comes back to Leigh’s acute perception of the inter-connectedness at work in our world.

I found our conversation inspiring the day that we had it and as I went back and listened once more, I found myself filled with hope. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed speaking with and learning from Leigh.

https://ryanoconnor.ca/talkingtocanadians/2017/7/25/talking-to-canadians-episode-9-i-believe-in-connection-leigh-shand