There's a lot to get to know about our new Interim Director Scott Beal, who officially joined our staff last week! Scott has served as a Lecturer in LSWA for several years, during which he taught a variety of classes covering topics such as "The Rhetoric and Representation of Race and Ethnicity," "Poetry and Justice," and "Writing in the Surreal World." Scott is also an award-winning poet who has published two chapbooks: "Wait 'Til You Have Real Problems" and "The Octopus." I was recently able to ask Scott a few questions about himself and his impressive career -- please enjoy reading his answers below!

What inspired you to start teaching?
Back in high school I swore I’d never become a teacher, because I did not envy the task of my teachers having to deal with ungrateful, disengaged teenagers (like me). But then I saw the movie Dead Poets Society and watched Robin Williams rally his students to stand on their desks, tear out the introduction to their poetry textbook, and generally disavow the soulless authoritarianism of stodgy old men. It’s corny, but watching those shenanigans started me thinking that inspiring students to love literature and embrace imagination might be decent work after all.

What's your favorite poem you've written and why?
I’ve been told that my poems are often depressing, but this is a happy occasion, so let me suggest one that is not. Several years back I was talking to a friend online who was sick, and since I couldn’t take her actual soup to help her feel better, I wrote her a poem called “Chicken Soup” which tells the story of how chicken soup was invented. Another friend later got angry at me when he found out the story was made up, because he’d been telling people for years that chicken soup was really invented by medieval lesbian nuns. 

What's a little-known fun fact about yourself?
I have seen the heavy metal band Iron Maiden live nine times, and have tickets to see them again this October.

To learn more about Scott, please visit his Staff Profile!