blog thoughts

BOOK LAUNCH: Jack McCarthy’s “Allow The Light”

Jack McCarthy was very dear to me. He helped me get closer to sobriety, guided me on my stage presence, and was pivotal in helping me develop my stage and page voice, and lured me into streamlining my choices in storytelling.

Jack died January 17, 2013, just 13 days after I moved up to Bellingham, Washington to be nearer to him. I was lucky to see him one last time and say goodbye.

On October 15, 2020, Write Bloody Publishing is releasing his new collection of poems and writings called Allow The Light. It’s a beautiful tribute to a man who was a beacon for many poets of all ages and all walks of life.

I’ll be hosting three online book launch events where a number of special guests will join me in reading selections from Jack’s book.

Wed, Oct 14, 4pm Pacific: Jack’s East Coast Launch
Thu, Oct 15, 7pm Pacific: Jack’s Pacific Northwest Launch
Fri, Oct 16, 7pm Pacific: Jack’s California Launch

A picture I took of Jack after performing a set in my Worcester, MA kitchen, 2009.

Jack was the sweetest, yet, most honest person I knew. He was always so patient with his critique, moreso the more one needed constructive criticism. To borrow a phrase from my wise and also-departed friend Lara Ka’apuni, Jack would “issue gentle corrections” to folks who were heading the wrong way. Plus, he only man I ever called with regularity on Father’s Day. 2013 was a doozy for me. It’s gotten easier since, but I often ask myself in times of uncertainty, what would Jack do? Well, a lot of those answers are now in this book.


Jack McCarthy called himself a “standup poetry guy.” Others called him “legend.” You can read about his life and legacy at the website that remains dedicated to his work and memory:

Recorded in November 2011, this performance and interview is published for the first time in honor of National Poetry Month, 2014.

Jack McCarthy
May 23, 1938 – January 17, 2013

Happy birthday, Jack.


Shhh. It’s all right.
Sleep will come,
when you’re not looking.
Morning will come, and breakfast,
and things that should be easy
will be easy once more.
It’s the Walk of Life.
You’ve walked it before
and you will walk it again.
Shhh now beloved.

Jack McCarthy (via ineffable-gaudiness)

Remembering Jack McCarthy


More on Jack McCarthy, this time for I wanted to focus in on what he meant to this community.

As usual, Victor—thank you, thank you, thank you.

Remembering Jack McCarthy


Haiku Needed

If you know Jack McCarthy, writer and spoken word mentor to many, we’re roasting him tonight in Seattle during his book release.

(Which you can buy here at EM-Press, just follow this link and scroll down:

I’m hosting the evening and feel it would be amazing to have folks send in roasty or honorary haiku for Jack. I’ll read the best tonight on stage.

Post them to my Twitter account:

or via Gmail: ilikemike