044: Enlightenment Through Endarkment, or Bumbling Our Way to Possible Magic with Teddy Macker (Author of ‘This World’)

044: Enlightenment Through Endarkenment, or Bumbling Our Way to Possible Magic with Teddy Macker (Author of 'This World')

“Who touches this touches a man. Incredibly moving, risk-taking, original, and deep. I was in tears a number of times while reading it. Magnificent.

– Barry Spacks

Teddy Macker is a guileless poet who incarnates the beauty and struggle of both the internal and external landscapes of this world we share. I would be lying if I didn’t say that one of my new life goals is buy Teddy a Lagunitas IPA and shoot the bull on all of life’s matter late into the evening. Macker is quick to laugh, invoke the wisdom of elders, and see the truth in and lurking behind boulders and cottonwood trees.  His book of poetry, This World, is masterful.

Like Barry Spacks’ words regarding (mentioned above) This World, tears will find you as you saunter through Macker’s poetry, and you will find yourself returning to it time and again. In this conversation, Teddy and I talk about Barry Spacks’ impact on him, how he holds the sacred and the sensual hand in hand, we bond over our mutual love for the music of Greg Brown, and of course, we are privileged with Teddy reading us some of his poems from This World.

You can learn more about Teddy by reading This World. (Please excuse the number of links to purchase This World, I am just such a big admirer of this book and man that I think everyone should have a copy. Buy yours here.)

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Resource by Teddy Macker

Resources Mentioned

Drinks Pairings

  • Lagunitas IPA or Grapefruit Perrier


  • When you hear the word “contemplative”, how does that moniker relate to you?
  • Is there a spiritual tradition, or many, that speak most deeply to your life?
  • What did you learn from Barry Spacks?
  • If someone were going to teach a class on the formation of Teddy Macker, what would be the 3 mandatory readings or works that formed you that would definitely be on that syllabus?
  • Beside being a poet, you’re a college lecturer and orchardist…how did that come to be?
  • What was the first poem that you recall truly speaking to you?
  • In your book, This World, you give the reader your original work and translations from ancient poets…what was it about the translated poems that you want them included in This World? Appreciation for their work?
  • The attention to detail is precise and illuminating, when an observation strike you in the moment, do you jot notes, allow the moment to sink in…is there a process to your writing?
  • Your poetry has a foot in external landscapes and internal landscapes, do you have different approach or lens as you look at each landscape or are they more naturally interdependent?
  • Teddy reads the poem ‘Noon’ from This World
  • One thing I love about your poetry is there is no false distinction between sacred and profane, the spiritual is embedded in the landscape and the sensual. Is that something you cultivated or was intuitive?
  • Your poem ‘The Poet Game’, was that inspired by the Greg Brown song of the same title, or is that coincidental?
  • Teddy reads the poem ‘Sycamore Canyon’ from This World
  • What drink would pair with this conversation?
Photo credit: Death To Stock Photo

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