Kathleen Ellis

Adjunct Assistant Professor in Honors (English)
Lecturer in English

B.A. University of California, Berkeley
M.L.S. University of Maine

Primary areas of creative work and study include creative writing; American women’s literature; poetry translation (Spanish and Portuguese); 20th and 21st c. U.S. poetry; Latin American poetry.

Secondary areas: environmental literature; literature of exile; women and war in fiction and poetry.

Recent publications include Vanishing Act and Entering Earthquake Country.

Since 2003, Kathleen has coordinated the annual POETS/SPEAK! reading at Bangor Public Library, which brings together the university’s literary community and students with the Bangor Area community. A major focus: community members and students reading poems in their native languages.

  • Why I teach in Honors:

The breadth and depth of interests and disciplines of Honors College students at Orono never cease to impress me. After teaching the two-year Civilizations series and numerous junior tutorials for seven years, I am continually enriched and renewed by the sophisticated level of inquiry and discussion.

  • My philosophy for teaching in Honors:

First of all, I aim to provide an atmosphere in which students are welcome to try out their ideas and opinions without fear of reprisal in the group or by the preceptor. Due to the nature of many of the readings in Honors, the unimpeded, open expression of ideas is paramount to having a meaningful discussion about classic works which often challenge students to question and reconsider their political, religious, or ethnic backgrounds. While promoting free expression, the Honors precepts also offer an opportunity early in students’ college careers to learn how to negotiate an intellectual argument in small-group contexts, which most underclassmen will not experience until they are juniors. By seriously examining their own and peers’ ideas and opinions, writing intensively in response to the texts and lectures, and participating in fervent discussion, Honors students can use the small-group atmosphere to analyze and express their own evolving attitudes about significant issues and themes  which have effected humankind since antiquity.

  • Recent Honors Lectures:

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (HON 111)

Adrienne Rich (HON 212)