Mark Decarteret

Part Time BFA
MA - University of New Hampshire
BFA - Emerson College


Teaching Philosophy
They arrive every fall from all parts. Geared up. I’ll say “say it” and most of them do. They’ll make up things. They’ll hit nerves. This mess of fresh words they have seen to with pens. I try opening an unexpected door or two. First by relaxing constraints and expectations and this pressure to create something of value, helping them to appreciate the significance of creating anything at all, and then, by providing an atmosphere of risk and abandon and intensity, one that seeks action before satisfaction. I’ll have them explore and experiment, familiarizing themselves with the history of the writer/artist as chronicler, mythmaker, even seer as well as their constantly changing role in the present. Exercises are only utilized as a last resort or for entertainment purposes. I rely more on creative dialogue and guidance, earning their trust. Criticism and encouragement is offered equally and supplemented with humor and absurdity, stories of my own successes and failures. The secret to writing is writing and only by constant practice will this process become not only tolerable but indispensable. The consistency and clarity of our vision, and our attempt to express it, relies on originality, honesty, discipline, and this willingness to challenge ourselves and our positions. By seeing to this interior life, we remind ourselves to remain open, put what's been learned to better use, refine and compact, recognize the authentic, make sacrifices, and cherish both tradition and innovation. But this is nothing new to us. We understand why we’re here. Peer under the hats and the fingernails: the stuff of life. These bricks not only speak of rivers and hills, but crushing gears and stray ghosts. And those moments where there’s just the right light. Here, the imagination doesn’t have to travel far for its next meal. It seems always at work. So, we play with it. Seriously.
Publication History

Boston Review -

Failbetter -

Superstition Review -

Salamander -

White Pelican Review -
Distinctions & Awards

Portsmouth NH Poet Laureate - 2009-2011

Salutatorian (Emerson) 1990 -