Mark approaches every class as an intimate encounter with like-minded souls eager to realize their highest potential. Using writing as the medium for investigation, he challenges students to step outside their comfort zones to achieve truthfulness and wisdom. As a writing teacher, he emphasizes the importance of insight, candor, and courage over literary technique, though improved writing is always a goal.
He focuses on pointed questioning and dialogue to create an atmosphere in his classes known as sohbet in Sufism – the spiritual talk of friends – communal experiences forming crucibles of transformation and creative freedom. His classes are challenging but gentle, confrontational but skillful, exploratory and deeply personal.
Mark values this quality of intimacy when working with groups, even large groups; a contagion of insight and wisdom happens when like-minded students take a journey together; they are quickened by one another’s progress, empathic toward one another’s struggles, and connected at a depth that is often surprising. Mark creates a safe environment for relationships as well as revelations to happen, and learns as much from his students as they learn from him.
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“I took Mark’s class because I wanted to refine and redirect my writing a bit. I ended up refining and redirecting my life as well. He has a gift for not only helping writers find their most authentic writing voice, but their most authentic voice period.”
-Atoosa Rubinstein, magazine editor
“Mark Matousek is a truly gifted writing coach. With an interviewer’s ear, he listens deeply and hears what people have to say. With the determination of a midwife, he helps them give birth to themselves, through their words. As my ‘book whisperer’, he is showing me that writing is truly a spiritual path, leading not only to publication, but personal transformation. I’ve been a lecturing in a University classroom for over two decades, and I’ve rarely met such a natural teacher. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from him!”
-Gwenyth Jackaway, PhD., Associate Professor, Fordham University
“Mark started our first class with the words; “You’re all here for a reason, even though you may not know what that reason is.” Over the course of just a handful of short sessions, I’ve come to realize that not only was I there for a reason, but that this reason was more important to my well being and self-understanding than I could have possibly fathomed when I first signed on for this class. Mark’s illuminating assignments, poignant feedback, and seasoned direction within the group setting unlocked many mysteries that had been buried within my psyche. The introspection that resulted was sometimes scary, sometimes difficult, and many times astounding — just what I needed and more. I am deeply grateful for the experience.”
-Brian Carr, President, Solid Threads