Touro Faculty Poet Series–Part II

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.

Helen Mitsios portrait by Tony Winters DSC_0145 copy 2
Portrait of Professor Helen Mitsios by Tony Winters

Contributed by Professor Helen Mitsios, Language and Literature, NYSCAS, Touro College.

 

 

Remembering Maya Angelou – Library Advocate among other things…..

image sourced from: http://wesa.fm/post/maya-angelou-remembering-author-poet-and-activist
(source)

On Wednesday May 28th 2014, beloved American author and poet, Maya Angelou, passed away at the age of 86.  While best known for her many literary achievements, Maya Angelou was also a powerful library advocate.

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POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY 2014

poem in your pocket

Tomorrow, April 24, is Poem in Your Pocket Day. On this day, people all over the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. Dr. Gerald Barry, former associate dean of the School of Health Sciences, was a champion of Poem in Your Pocket Day. Each year he promoted this special day and encouraged (even insisted) his students and colleagues bring a poem to school to share. Since Dr. Barry retired this past fall, the library at the Bay Shore Campus has stepped in to promote Poem in Your Pocket Day. So in honor of Dr. Barry, go ahead and take a few minutes to find a poem, print it out and put it in your pocket.

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Poem in Your Pocket Day

poem in your pocketApril is National Poetry Month and yesterday was Poem in Your Pocket Day. Here at the Bay Shore campus, we have a champion of Poem in Your Pocket Day. It is Dr. Gerald Barry, our Associate Dean. Each year, Dr. Barry posts flyers around campus to announce the upcoming event. Then on the specified day, he makes his way around campus, sharing his poem with everyone. Actually, this year he shared 6 poems! And one of them was written himself. He also asks each person to share a poem with him. It is obvious that this day has a special meaning to Dr. Barry. He is grinning from ear to ear. To be honest, I’ve never had much interest in poetry. I’ve always been more of an information-seeker than an artist; more logical than creative.  But I don’t want to dissapoint Dr. Barry.  And its funny how someone else’s passion can be contagious. So there I was the evening before, searching our library’s collection for a poem. The Bay Shore campus library has a wide selection of poetry to choose from. I selected a poem by Robert Frost about the year 2000. It was fun to have a poem in my pocket. I think that tapping into my creative/artistic mind can make me a better librarian.  So thank you Dr. Barry.  Next year, I may even write my own poem!