Michael C Flanigan the professor with a ninth grade education!

How an orphaned high school dropout made the inner circle of the literary world.
Inside News Release: Please forward to your friends.
After reading this story you’ll be inspired to put the worst behind you and reach for your dreams. Michael C Flanigan has plenty to complain about but instead he is inspired. This is the story of how an abused orphan and ninth grade dropout became an author, a college teacher, and peer to some of the twentieth century’s greatest poets.
Michael was orphaned at the age of nine. His father killed his mother and then committed suicide. Michael probably would have been murdered by his own father if he hadn’t sensed something wrong and ran away that day. Perhaps it was for the better. Michael had been severely physically and mentally abused by his parent while they were alive.
Young Michael went to live with his grandparents on their rural family farm. He credits his grandfather’s simple ethics and unconditional love as being his salvation. Hardships at the farm and memories of a violent past eventually drove Michael into a breakdown. Michael was forced to leave school in the ninth grade and spent three years in the state mental institution.
Despite the setbacks Michael was an avid learner and spent his free time reading the classics, writing poetry, drawing, and painting. The self educated Flanigan was determined to become a professional poet and at the age of seventeen he ran away to New York City. By 1965 Michael had found himself in Buffalo where he managed to befriend and turn mentor the late Charles Olson (father of the Black Mountain Poets).
From that moment Michael could be found reading at poetry events with the likes of Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, David Landrey, and Stanley Kubrick to name a few. In 1967 Michael started his own publishing company and by 1969 he had published several books. In 1969 Michael became a faculty member at Buffalo State as artist in residence. Not titled a professor per se but he did earn the faculty merit award in 1970 and remained artist in residence until 1972.
Michael considers his career peak to be when Stanley Kubrick nominated his book ‘Scrapbooks’ for the Pulitzer. Michael recounts “Stanley said they wouldn’t give it to me, ‘but someday you might win’”. Michael say’s “Anybody can nominate anything for a Pulitzer, that didn’t matter to me. Stanley Kubrick considering me a great poet was the greatest honor. Well; aside from being accepted by Charles {Olson} as a student.”
From 1972 until the mid nineties Michael conducted poetry workshops at over a dozen universities in the US and Canada and nearly a thousand junior high and high schools. Michael retired with his wife into rural Indiana near the campus of Indiana University in 1996. While his nine books are all currently out of print he is working with his agent to bring back the collected volumes along with his new and never before published poems and the biography of his unlikely life.
Michael has been a neglected, humiliated, and abused child, an orphan, a survivor, a mental patient, a self educated entrepreneur, a college teacher, and an artist. Michael doesn’t believe he is special or great and credits his successes with being determined and open.
“I went all the way to Buffalo New York and I harassed Americas greatest poet (referring to Charles Olson) until he critiqued my work. When I couldn’t find a publisher for my first book I started my own publishing house. When my residency with the university expired I created a traveling workshop and sold my program to the schools. You gotta go after the best artist you can find, they have an obligation to teach and critique, you’ll earn a valuable reference. If you’re an artist and you’re determined you’ll make a career. Real artist don’t give up they make a path for themselves when it’s not given to them.”
Michael is an inspiration to artist and writers, to those who have been abused, those who have suffered mental illness, and those who have educated themselves but lack the credentials.
Help Michael demonstrate the worth of his story by sharing this article with your friends. By forwarding and sharing this article you’ll not only be sharing inside news before it hits the wires you’ll be helping Michael demonstrate the value of his story to potential publishers. This article is creative commons, there are no rights reserved. I encourage anyone who is inspired to this story to copy and paste it. Email it to friends or blog it or about it. Look for the complete biography in 2009!

Kevin D Goodman
SDMC/Artist Agent

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