Photos by Steve Shay
Pictured top, supporters of popular South Seattle Community College English professor Michael Hickey attend his book signing party Wednesday night at the Feedback Lounge in West Seattle for his novel "Counterclockwise". Bottom photo, Hickey, center, unwraps a plaque he will present to Brian T. Gaston, far right, who helped him publicize his book by devising and publicizing a flash mob style book buying frenzy Nov. 1. Between them is Michael's brother, Matt, who flew in from Alaska to surprise him.

Popular professor & poet Micheal Hickey throws well-attended book signing party at Feedback Lounge

Michael Hickey, a popular tenured professor of creative writing at South Seattle Community College and published award-winning poet, appeared at the Feedback Lounge in the Morgan Junction in West Seattle Wednesday night to sign his latest book and first novel, "Counterclockwise".

The West Seattle resident was joined by his wife, Mona, a stand-up comedian, and his brother, Matt, in from Eagle River, Alaska, as he signed books for a respectable crowd of his friends, students, former students, and colleagues including Gary Oertli, President & Vice Chancellor of South Seattle Community College.

Amazon's description of "Counterclockwise" states: In 1980, Junior McPherson's life spirals out of control when his mother dies and his relationship with his father collapses. In a move toward escape and reinvention, Junior relocates to Arizona and has a chance meeting with a person who will change the trajectory of his life. Through this connection, each of the men will discover that sometimes the only way to move forward is to go backward: Counterclockwise.

"I got both of his books ('Counterclockwise' and 'A Dress Walked By With a Woman Inside') and look forward to reading them soon," said Dr. Oertli. "He's a great faculty member and students love him. He's inspired so many students. Some are here tonight."

John Horton is a former intro to poetry student of Hickey and attended.

"I took classes with Mike back in 2003 and 2004, and off and on throughout the years I've stayed in touch with him," said Horton, 28. "He has always been more than willing to look over my work and give me thoughtful critique. I do what most poets do right now, work in a mail room. I don't read publicly. I do very private poetry."

Math and engineering teacher at South, Heidi Lyman, said, "A lot of my students have him and they really like him. When I teach classes in a room near his I can always hear them laughing."

"We are both over the moon about this," said Mona. "He's been working for so long (...) I see him writing and re-writing and pouring his heart into every word."

"This is a dream come true," said Michael. "This book started as a series of short stories back in the late 1970's so this book is older than my wife. For it to finally come together is kind of a miracle."

In 2009, he was elected Seattle’s Poet Populist. Hickey, the oldest of eleven children, received a BA from the University of Arizona, 1987, and an MFA from the University of Washington, 1992.

Hickey has served as a writing volunteer for children at bereavement camps, youth offenders at King County Youth Detention, and prisoners at the Monroe Correctional Complex. His first book of poetry, "In Defense of Eve", was published by Good Egg Press in 1999. Another book of his poems, "A Dress Walked By With a Woman Inside" was released earlier this year in paperback. He has won numerous awards for teaching, writing, and union leadership.

You can find "Counterclockwise" on Amazon here.

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