National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Spring/Summer 2015, Volume 16, Number 1.


Copyright © 2015 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


I am, by trade and training, a poet. By day, I serve as Writer in Residence in the university honors program of a flagship state university. My courses are inquiries into literature and culture, and my students and I, collectively, pursue these through writing. In other words, I am a humanities native nestled within the honors world. And, while I write books about poetry, art, and other cultural matters, the honors community that I inhabit, at least in my part of the country, is overwhelmingly populated with young engineers and scientists.

With the corporatization of the American university, a trend in which curriculum is crowd-sourced, where budgets are set according to outside demand rather than to a compass of guiding values, where the sciences reign and “assets are monetized,” I sing from a place of vulnerability and rarity. But, sometimes, the stronger the cage, the more robust the song. Poets, you see, thrive on that.