Joseph Mills

Few teachers have a unique style; we learn from one another and adopt and modify (and avoid) techniques and elements of others. I hope to encourage my students to become curious, disciplined, intelligent, empathetic artists and people. I hope they develop a passion for life-long learning.


  • Hundreds of criticism, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction published in variety of forums.
  • Six books of poetry: Exit, Pursued By a Bear; Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers; This Miraculous Turning; Sending Christmas Cards to Huck and Hamlet; Love and Other Collisions; Somewhere During the Spin Cycle;
  • Edited, book of film criticism: A Century of the Marx Brothers
  • Two editions, A Guide to North Carolina’s Wineries

Career Highlights

  • The woman who approached me after a reading and said that she had my poem on her fridge.
  • Reading from a book of poems about my children – This Miraculous Turning – with my children in the audience and having them come up afterwards.
  • The student who came up to me years after graduating, hugged me, and said, “I still have all the books from your courses."
  • The student who stopped, as he left class, and said, “I enjoyed that actually.”
  • Getting hired at the School of the Arts.


Ph.D.University of California, Davis

M.AUniversity of New Mexico

B.A.University of Chicago