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accents on english | fall 18-spring 19

Justin Petropoulos, Program Manager (Creative Writing)

The Creative Side

hoto of Justin Petropoulos by Alexandra Lytton Regalado.The Department of English welcomes Justin Petropoulos as the new program manager for creative writing. Petropoulos’s responsibilities include advising undergraduate and graduate students, budgeting, course enrollment, scheduling, event planning, and coordinating with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Born in New York City, Petropoulos spent most of his youth moving around to other areas like Queens and Long Island to the point where he now feels he can pack a U-Haul in his sleep. He received his BA in English from Florida International University in Miami, Florida and an MFA in creative writing (poetry) from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Before he moved to Arizona, he worked as the program director for an after-school and summer camp program in Queens, New York, serving between 300 and 450 at-risk elementary age students. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at New Jersey City University, teaching composition and creative writing. So, why ASU? He explains: “I had been living in New York for the last thirteen years and needed a change of pace, climate, and most importantly a job more connected to writing.”

Among learning the ins and outs of the department, Petropoulos also plans to further his own education here at ASU: “I would like to pursue at least an MA in either comparative literature or cultural studies in the future, focusing primarily on the relationships between the U.S. and Brazil.”  

Petropoulos says he is enjoying Arizona so far: “I’m hoping to start getting out and exploring more of Arizona in the next few months.”

Outside of the office, Petropoulos spends his time collecting art, playing basketball, running, and listening to music. “I love music, especially live music, and try to go to see bands whenever possible.” He also enjoys reading. Poetry and fiction are his main choices, but he also likes books on economics and economic theory. “I’m sure I don’t understand half of what I’m reading, but the half I do understand makes me happy.”

Petropoulos has published two collections of poetry: Eminent Domain (Marsh Hawk Press 2011), which was also selected by Anne Waldman for the 2010 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize, and <legend>   </legend> (Jaded Ibis Press 2013), a collaborative work with multimedia artist Carla Gannis.

Being a program manager at ASU has its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to the various and numerous procedures of the university. However, Petropoulos has been hard at work learning everything he can as quickly as possible: “I find this job very rewarding because of how involved I am with the students. My conversations with them are always a highlight of my day. Everyone in the department has been wonderful.”

Kira Assad

Image: Photo of Justin Petropoulos by Alexandra Lytton Regalado.