Michael Coccari retired in 2019 from a 33-year career as a high school English teacher. In the early 1980s he taught English for three years in Osaka, Japan. His proudest professional achievement as a teacher was helping adolescents find their voices and develop their competency as writers, deepen their humanity and values through the study of literature, and discover life directions through introspective writing and analyzing literary characters.
In 2017 he published a memoir, Cancer Fight: My Wife’s Faithful, Fearless Battle Against Breast Cancer. The book aims to honor his wife’s experiences living with this vicious disease, document her efforts to maintain a vibrant quality of life, and explain how she handled surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The book also explores Coccari’s experiences as a husband of a cancer patient and caregiver. Cancer Fight was the subject of an interview and podcast on nationally syndicated I Heart Radio /Daily Spark Show hosted by Dr. Angela Chester; a segment on TV station KBAK/Fox 58, an affiliate of CBS News in Bakersfield, CA; and an article in Tehachapi News, a weekly newspaper in Tehachapi, CA.
Köehler Books published Coccari’s second memoir, It’s Good to Say Thank You, in March of 2022.
Without the pressures of preparing lesson plans and grading papers, Coccari is trying to market a novel, screenplay, and book of poems, as well as posting blogs on diverse topics, including travel experiences, culture, and education.