John Roche Headshot

John Roche

Associate Professor
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts

John Roche

Associate Professor
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts

Education

BA, University of Connecticut; MA, University College Dublin (Ireland); Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo

Bio

I am widely interdisciplinary in my interests, with an M.A. in Anglo-Irish Literature and study of Yeats, Blake, and other bardic figures that I put to use in teaching Irish Literature and various poetry classes, but my background is also firmly rooted in Walt Whitman and the American free-verse and experimental poetry traditions that draw on his conception of the poet's twin responsibilities to his or her own individuality and to the civic society the poet must engage. These are the dual emphases I bring to my teaching, as well as to my advising duties with RIT's literary magazine, Signatures .

I taught at Emory University and Michigan State University, among other schools, before coming to RIT, where I've taught for more than a decade. My dissertation was on Walt Whitman and Frank Lloyd Wright, but I also did considerable work on Post-WWII poetry, studying with the late poets Robert Creeley and John C. Clarke at Buffalo, and before that with George Butterick and Glauco Cambon at Storrs. I've had four NEH summer fellowships, studying Romantic Theory with Ernst Behler at the University of Washington, Print Culture in America with Carl Kaestle at the University of Chicago, and American Studies (twice) with Townsend Ludington, Joy Kasson, and John Kasson at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

My longtime interest in the Black Mountain poets has been rekindled of late. I taught a class in spring 2010 on Black Mountain College, edited a memoir and poem collection by Black Mountain alumna Martha Rittenhouse Treichler in fall 2010, and organized a three-day symposium called Black Mountain North in October 2010: www.blackmountainnorth.org/

Following from this, I created an Honors class in Beat & Black Mountain Poetry, and another class in Beat Literature. I continue to pursue my own poetry, alone and in collaboration with musicians like the Handmade Orchestra and the Chicago Scratch Orchestra. I served as a judge for Poets Walk, and as emcee for the Memorial Art Gallery reading celebrating this tribute to two centuries of poetry in the Greater Rochester area: artdrop.democratandchronicle.com/poets-walk

I am also on the Board of, and formerly President of, the Just Poets organization: thejustpoets.wordpress.com/

Currently Teaching

ENGL-211
3 Credits
This course gives students the opportunity to write in different creative genres such as fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. In producing a portfolio, students will learn concrete elements of craft and techniques of improvisation to generate creative work. The course uses readings, peer feedback, workshops, and collaborative brainstorming to develop and refine texts for the printed page and beyond.
ENGL-390
3 Credits
This course is for students who want to explore the techniques of a single genre of creative writing and add to their skills as a creative writer. Through reading and discussion, students will see their own writing in a larger context. Reading/reflection and writing/revision will be emphasized all semester. The focus will be on the creation of creative works and the learning of stylistic and craft techniques. Ongoing work will be discussed with peer editors, which will not only help students rethink their work but teach them to become better editors. Group critiques will provide the opportunity to give and receive helpful feedback. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will focus on a specific genre of print-based creative writing. The course may be taken up to three times for a total of 9 credit hours, as long as the topics are different.
ENGL-490
3 Credits
This course is for students who want to explore the techniques of a single genre of creative writing and have already completed a creative writing workshop. Through reading and discussion, they will see their own writing in a larger context, culminating in a substantial body of work ready for publication. Reading/reflection and writing/revision will be emphasized all semester. The focus will be on the creation of creative works and the learning of stylistic and craft techniques. Ongoing work will be discussed with peer editors, which will not only help students rethink their work but teach them to become better editors. Group critiques will provide the opportunity to give and receive helpful feedback. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will focus on a specific genre of print-based creative writing. The course can be repeated up to three times, for 9 semester credit hours, as long the topics are different.
ENGL-316
3 Credits
This course presents a study of global literature by engaging in critically informed analysis of texts from different geographical regions or cultural perspectives. Students will discover new modes for thinking about what global literature is, and how globalizing impulses have changed and shaped our world. One of the goals of the class is to analyze and discuss the works in their respective socio-historical contexts, with a special focus on the theme of encounter or contact zones. The impact of various factors such as migration, nationality, class, race, gender, generation, and religion will also be taken into consideration. The course can be repeated up to two times, for 6 semester credit hours, as long as the topics are different.

Select Scholarship

Published Review
Roche, John. "Hugh Fox, Approaching: Poems of Brazil." Rev. of Approaching: Poems of Brazil, ed. Diane Smith. Gray Sparrow Journal May 2011: 1. Web. £
Full Length Book
Roche, John. Road Ghosts. 1st ed. Palmyra, NY: theenk Books, 2011. Print.
Editor (book or journal)
Roche, John. Preface. Black Mountain to Crooked Lake: Poems 1948-2010, with a Memoir of Black Mountain College. NY: FootHills Publishing, n.p. 2010. Print.
Installation/Exhibit/Performance
Roche, John and Eddie Swayze. ”Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam.” Park Point, Henrietta, NY. 6 Feb. 2010. Performance.
Roche, John. ”Linebreakers: Poetry, Music, Dance.” Physikos Studio, Village Gate, Rochester, NY. 7 Sept. 2010. Performance.
Roche, John. Poetry. Black Mountain North Symposium. RITZ Sports Zone, SAU, RIT. 2 Oct. 2010. Performance. †
Roche, John. Poetry. Albany Social Justice Center, Albany, NY. 16 Sept. 2010. Performance. ≠