Many thanks to Michael Mack, celebrated poet, writer, and performer, for his phenomenal, multifaceted performance of ‘Hearing Voices: Stories of love, Mental Illness, and Creativity, on Fellowship Place’s campus May 18. In his one-man presentation, Mack shared a series of stories about growing up with a mother with schizophrenia, and how her illness impacted the family, along with reflections on the artistic process as a spiritual pilgrimage of healing. A truly inspiration performance, threaded with multiple standing ovations from the audience!
Michael Mack was five years old when his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her illness brought radical changes to everyone in Mack’s family – changes they would navigate for decades. Mack began writing about her life to better understand her inner struggle, and his own lifelong depression. This evolved into stories and performances that became an integral part of Mack’s healing journey – not healing as a tidy little package, but in the complexity of a person growing ever more into a whole self.
In 2023, Mack won the Great American Fiction Contest published by The Saturday Evening Post. His work has aired on NPR and has been published by the likes of the Journal of the American Medical Association and Beloit Poetry Journal. Mack has performed at the US Library of Congress, Yale University, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Austin International Poetry Festival, and Off-Off-Broadway at the Times Square Arts Center.