Joseph R. Accinno Teaching Award Recipient 2011-12

Chard deNiord

EnglishChard deNiord English

“As both a poet and prose writer, I understand the importance of teaching revision as an essential practice in achieving verbal clarity, original style, and mature voice. Because effective writing involves continual assessment and reassessment of myriad drafts, I believe in a counter intuitive pedagogy that allows for constructive failure, that is, a process in which students test their ideas, interpretations, and nascent expressions in an atmosphere where the wisdom of Samuel Beckett’s instruction, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better,” rings true as an ironic adage. Or, as the poet Richard Hugo put it in the context of creative writing, to find one’s own “triggering town”—that imaginative, often bizarre place where one discovers things she didn’t know she knew. I believe that without risking new opinions, ideas and inspirations, and then developing them, students never engage in the cognitive/creative process necessary for arriving at their own self-delighting expression. By requiring ongoing revision of papers and poems, reading notebooks, in-class writing, peer evaluation, class participation, and one on one conferences, I aspire to lead my students to increasingly effective levels of expression and thinking that exceed their expectations and help define themselves to themselves as original thinkers, readers and writers.”