SU honors alumnus Burkard – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

SU honors alumnus Burkard

Michael Burkard '68 was one of five Syracuse University faculty and staff members who received Chancellor's Citations at a dinner in their honor on Monday, March 19.

Burkard is an associate professor in the English Department and Creative Writing Program. The citations recognize individuals for Engaging the World, for Faculty Excellence and Scholarly Distinction, and for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Access and Support.

The citation accompanying Burkard's award described how the poet “has provided exemplary service to his community, teaching students and adults alike creative writing and art skills that help bring out their creative potential.”

For almost a decade, Burkard has taught in SU's graduate creative writing program and is internationally recognized for his poetry collections that include “My Secret Boat: a notebook of prose and poems” (W.W. Norton, 1990), “Entire Dilemma” (Sarabande Books, 1998) and “Unsleeping” (Sarabande Books, 2001).” In April 2006, he was invited to anchor a special supplement in the American Poetry Review with his work.

Sharing knowledge of poetry and other writing styles with individuals outside of campus is part of Burkard's work and the Community Writers Project, in which he teaches. Through this project, he has taken SU undergraduates and graduate students to area schools and community centers to teach creative writing, and to the Onondaga Nation, where he introduces Native American students to various writing techniques that improve their arts literacy skills.

Another of Burkard's major projects has been the “Art, Literacy and Technology” program he helped develop. As part of the Partnership for Better Education, Burkard teaches creative writing techniques to students at Henninger High School, and helps them create photographic and written essays about their lives.

After earning a bachelor's degree in English from Hobart College he earned a master of fine arts from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1973. He has received several fellowships and writing awards. He has also taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Louisville.

Honored with him were Catherine Gerard, associate director of executive education and mid-career programs at SU's Maxwell School; John Hogan, director of the Office of Budget and Planning; Eric Kingson, professor in the School of Social Work; and Horace Smith, associate vice president for undergraduate studies and retention.