ARCHIVED: Newly Tenured Faculty: Jeffrey McDaniel
Courses Masks, Personas, and the Literal I; The (So-Called) Confessional Poets; The Image Factory
Favorite writers Two I admire a great deal are Dostoyevsky and Baudelaire
Favorite poet I would be very interested to read a fusion of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. In some alternate reality, a scientist has the DNA of various poets and is able to blend them like spices.
Favorite thing in your office An Anna Akhmatova poster I got in Russia, and a picture of my daughter
Worst poem Got to write the bad ones to get to the good ones
Best trip A 29-day trip to Asia I took with my wife in 2006. We went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Angkor Wat, Luang Prabang, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai
Worst job One of the hardest physically was working on a loading dock after my sophomore year of college, unloading trucks in South Philly
If not yourself, who would you be? My shadow
Real life heroes I was very impressed by that pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who guided his plane into the Hudson with both engines out.
Natural talent you’d like to be gifted with? The ability to levitate on command
Best event at SLC I’m biased towards the annual Dead Poets Slam
Favorite motto I don’t know about mottos but here’s a line by W.S. Merwin: “the lightning has shown me the scars of the future”
Technology you can’t live without Well, electricity is pretty important.
Books on your nightstand I wish I could say something smart like Marcus Aurelius, but the truth is I generally don’t read in my bed. Right now I’m reading parts of an Emerson biography, Jennifer Egan’s new book, and To The End of the Land by David Grossman.
Vices I am wondering if there is a connection between the two meanings of vice, like if the metal tool with movable jaws is a metaphor for the psychic consequence of wicked, immoral behavior. Either way, the answer this month is Earl Grey.
What do you love about Sarah Lawrence students? How they continue to surprise me.
What do you love about teaching at Sarah Lawrence? I do not have to convert anyone to poetry. Poets are taken seriously here. And there is so much trust and freedom—the administration allows the faculty a great deal of latitude when creating courses, and the faculty allows the student a great deal of latitude when it comes to learning.