Our second poet faculty for National Poetry Month is Professor Helen Mitsios. She holds an MA in English and American Literature from Arizona State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. Professor Mitsios is an award-winning poet and author of the collection If Black Had A Shadow. Click here to see a list of her poems on Touro Scholar, our institutional repository. She teaches literature at NYSCAS, a division of Touro College. Keep reading to learn what has inspired her to write poetry and how she connects poetry to teaching and learning.
What prompted you to write poetry?
I wrote poetry even in grade school. But it wasn’t until I read Letters to a Stranger by Thomas James that I wanted to become a “real” poet and learn the poetic art of moving the emotions in my writing–the emotions being, after all, the basis of everything. I thank my professor, the celebrated poet Norman Dubie, for introducing me to James in an undergrad poetry class I took at Arizona State University.
In what form/style do you compose your poems? Lyric poetry
What is the role of poetry in your teaching? Or how do you think poetry has an impact on students and their learning?
In teaching, I stress quality over quantity. Of course, both are necessary.
Well, I’m biased of course, but I think studies that promote creativity also lead to innovation in fields like business, science, and medicine. For example, it’s why Harvard University admits artists and poets to their MBA program.
Contributed by Professor Helen Mitsios, Language and Literature, NYSCAS, Touro College.