||Professor of English and Head of the Department of English
Arts and Letters
||M.F.A. Columbia University (Poetry); B.A. Wittenberg University (English and Spanish)
I moved to Columbus from New York City shortly before Sept. 11, 2001. I’d completed my graduate studies in poetry at Columbia University, and the attack on the World Trade Center marked a decisive end to that intensive period of study and creativity. I started teaching at Ohio Dominican in 2002, and have taught a wide array of graduate and undergraduate courses, including freshman composition and creative writing, core seminars for freshman and sophomores (including a popular course on the literature of the Vietnam War), and courses in the study of poetry. I have worked extensively with ODU’s honors program and core curriculum, and for five years I served as the director of ODU’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program.
Poetry has been my sustaining passion for many years. I enjoy the challenges and rewards that come with teaching poetry to my students. I often have students approach me after a course in poetry to say things like, “I used to hate poetry. Now I feel like I finally get it!” Not long ago, a student-athlete from my Vietnam War course came to me and said, “I always thought poetry was something teenage girls wrote in their diaries. I had no idea poetry could be so cool or so powerful.” I support poetry in the local community by giving readings and by serving as a judge for the state-wide Poetry Out Loud competition, where high school students from across Ohio memorize and recite classic poetry for a shot at the national finals (and a $20,000 prize!).
After earning tenure in 2010, I spent a semester traveling and writing. Over the past 10 years, my poems have been published in many respected literary journals, from The Paris Review, Antioch Review, and Denver Quarterly, to A Public Space, Verse, and The Beloit Poetry Journal. Since 2008, I’ve also written dozens of essays and reviews of contemporary and avant-garde classical music for La Tempestad, an arts and culture magazine with an international focus published in Mexico City. My writings have been recognized with a number of awards, including the Bernard F. Connors Prize from The Paris Review, a Pushcart nomination, and an Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. In 2012, I was the Ohio Arts Council’s poet-in-residence at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass.
In my life outside ODU, I enjoy running, kayaking, and hiking. I’m also an amateur astronomer. I use an Orion Astroview six-inch equatorial reflector scope to view the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter, distant galaxies, and even the sun (with a solar filter, of course). As the English Romantic poet John Keats wrote, “Bright Star, would I were steadfast as thou art…”