An Interview with Professor Randy Brooks PDF Print E-mail

by Robert D. Wilson

 

RDW: What inspired you to teach haiku at Millikin University? You teach the subject in depth and have done much to further haiku as an academic discipline in North America. What led you down this path?

RB: I have always been eager to teach haiku because of the pure joy I have experienced participating in the reading and writing of haiku. As a teacher, what could be better than sharing that joy with my students? Part of this joy comes from the social nature of haiku. There is a vibrant, thriving community of readers and writers, and I am eager to share that community as a possible lifelong enriching opportunity for my students. Everyone needs an art in their lives, so why not help my students learn about the opportunity to be part of this great haiku community?

I started teaching haiku as a graduate student at Purdue University, developing short units on haiku as part of my freshman writing courses. I also served as a “poet in the schools” in Indianapolis, teaching haiku workshops for students at all grade levels. Of course, these units and workshops were necessarily very short—one or two weeks at the most. I was frustrated with the limited learning about the art of writing haiku that occurred in these short encounters with haiku. In these quick lessons, students enjoyed reading haiku, but they rarely went beyond immediate responses and naïve interpretations of the haiku. Such immediate readings lacked depth of understanding the cultural backgrounds and allusions common within the haiku as a literary art with a rich global tradition. However, especially with English-language haiku, my students could understand the power of haiku to say much more than what appears on the surface. In these short-lived workshops, my students could experience the power of haiku to evoke associations, memories and feelings. I primarily emphasized reading and enjoying haiku, with limited success in instant efforts by students to write haiku. How much can someone achieve in one writing workshop or a week of writing and editing?

As a professor at Millikin University it took me about 10 years to establish a regular offering of haiku courses. Developing new courses not typically taught is a slow process. First, I had to build up an appreciation for the literary art of haiku before I was able to develop formal haiku courses. I did this by sharing publications and books with my colleagues and administrators. During this time, I continued to teach workshops for students at Millikin and at schools in the community. I gained recognition for my publications—essays and haiku in books, anthologies, and journals.

In 1992, I co-edited (with Lee Gurga) the Midwest Haiku Anthology, demonstrating that the art was alive and well in the Midwest. The publication of this anthology was celebrated with a Midwest Haiku Festival hosted at Millikin University. Several Midwest haiku writers, editors, scholars and translators, such as Lucien Stryk, attended the festival. I applied for and received funding for grants to conduct research on haiku. These activities were highly valued and appreciated by senior faculty, my colleagues and, importantly, my promotion and tenure committee. But how could I convince senior faculty and our faculty governance system that we needed credit-bearing courses on haiku? Curricular reforms are very slow and require extensive rationale for approval by faculty governance committees.

I applied for a sabbatical and endowed distinguished professorship with the sole purpose of researching contemporary English-language haiku. One of my promised outcomes from this investment was to complete another anthology co-edited with George Swede, the Global Haiku Anthology. I also promised to develop and deliver a new course that would fulfill our new requirement for global studies—a course on the Global Haiku Tradition. I received enthusiastic support and taught the course for the first time in the Spring of 2000. The course culminated with the Global Haiku Festival, hosted at Millikin University, with participation by authors in the Global Haiku Anthology. The festival also featuring haiku scholars, writers and editors who presented research on the history and traditions of haiku in various parts of the world. My students interviewed the visiting haiku writers and scholars, thus starting an important tradition within the course—immediate contact and interaction with contemporary haiku poets.

The course was very popular and students who took the course wanted more, so I developed a one-credit “haiku writing roundtable” as a follow-up writing workshop that students could take multiple times as they continued to study the art of reading and writing haiku.

In all of these courses my goals have been:
(a) experiential engagement in the integration of reading and writing haiku within a community of readers and writers,
(b) then gaining awareness of the complexity of writing high-quality haiku that fulfill both immediate reading joys as well as rewarding in-depth re-reading rewards, and
(c) understanding the rich diversity of approaches to writing haiku available within the global traditions.

My goals are neither to teach literary history nor to use haiku as a means of the cultural study of Japan. I have no literary theoretical ax to grind with my students. My goals are purely to invite my students into the joy of reading and writing haiku, in their own language and through translations from other languages. Of course, to be a good reader, my students need to understand where these traditions come from (Japanese culture and literary history), but those subjects are ancillary to my primary goal of simply enjoying the arts of reading and writing haiku.

Some students have sought to advance beyond these offerings, developing honors or senior projects that may take two or three semesters to complete. I have taught courses on Modernist poetry and World War I poetry, including Japanese poetry. I have also taught a tanka writing roundtable and now have a colleague who has become an excellent tanka poet, Dr. Carmella Braniger, who is teaching a three-credit course on the Global Tanka Traditions.

RDW: You've studied contemporary modern American poets during your student years at Ball State University in Indiana, including Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, who were both Imagist and modernist poets. In a letter to me from the late Allen Ginsburg in 1986, he told me I should study in depth poetry penned by William Williams, who he considered as a mentor in many ways. Of course, as most familiar with Ginsberg know, his biggest influence was William Blake. You won a student writing award during your senior year at the university which included a monetary award. You spent that money purchasing books that included The Haiku Anthology edited by Cor van den Heuvel, and Makoto Ueda's Modern Japanese Haiku. These two books you credit with introducing you to understanding and writing haiku.  

Recently, I came across an essay written by Professor Haruo Shirane of Columbia University, who posited that most of what he read in The Haiku Anthology were more akin to Imagist poetry than to haiku. The haiku-like poems in the aforementioned anthology are not much different than what I read today as co-owner and co-managing editor of Simply Haiku. Many lack depth and an understanding of the role nature plays in the composition of haiku. The season reference (Kigo) indigenous to Basho's conceptualizations of nature is, more often than not, thought to be unnecessary. Many who include nature in their haiku use it to illustrate their poetry, and end up composing miniature word paintings. Your feelings, Professor Brooks?

RB: As modernist poets, the Imagists were seeking new traditions and approaches to poetry as they rejected the poetry of the Victorian and Romantic poets who preceded them. They experimented with fragmented free verse and played with dramatic monologues or short poems of modernist consciousness, but they had very limited access to Japanese poetry. They rejected the formal verse of the Victorians and wisdom-speaker traditions of the Romantics, promoting the idea that a poem can stand “on its own” without autobiographical or lyrical expressive autobiographical context. With the exception of a couple of French poets and the embarrassing efforts by Amy Lowell, the Imagist poets did not attempt to write haiku on a regular basis. In retrospect, what I find interesting about the Imagists, in relation to haiku traditions, is that they enthusiastically wrote manifestos calling for new modernist approaches to poetry—calling for a new imagistic approach to poetry based on perception and personae. Although they are most noted for long fragmented poems, such as T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland” and Ezra Pound’s “Cantos,” the Imagist poets did champion the idea that a poem can be a stand-alone, very short poem.

As a student of modernist English poetry, I was very curious about what was happening in modernist Japanese poetry. This is one of the reasons I was so pleased to find Makoto Ueda’s book, Modern Japanese Haiku, at the very beginning of my study of haiku. In his introduction he began with Shiki’s attempt to reform the haiku tradition—renaming “hokku” as “haiku”—and arguing that it can be a stand-alone poem in itself, not merely a starting verse for renga. Shiki led the reform by writing a manifesto to reinvent haiku for the modern age. As Ueda explained, “Shiki was opposed above all to the mannerism of contemporary haiku. In his view the Japanese haiku of the nineteenth century were trite in motif, diffuse in style, pedantic in expression, restrictive in vocabulary, and too conscious of poetic factions. He sought the opposite of all those qualities in modern haiku, the haiku after his revolution.” [Ueda, page 6]. Like the Imagist poets, Shiki called for a poetry that addressed the realities of the modern world, instead of ancient conceits and language. Further scholarship on Shiki by Janine Beichman and other Japanese literary scholars shows how Shiki wrote critical essays praising Buson over Basho, especially the deification and lavish imitation of Basho in Shiki’s time. For Shiki, the goal was to open up language and the content of haiku to contemporary experiences instead of lavish imitation of poetic language and topics of the past.

When I started graduate studies at Purdue University, I was very excited to be able to study modernist Japanese poetry with Dr. Sanford Goldstein. With his expert guidance, I studied and reviewed everything I could find in translations about the haiku and tanka traditions, especially the modernist haiku writers such as Shiki, Ippekiro or Hekigodô and modernist tanka writers such as Takuboku and Akiko Yosano. As a translator and English-language tanka poet, Sandy was an excellent mentor in my studies, especially since my own goals were to learn how to write tanka and haiku in English based on my own culture and times.

I credit the Haiku Anthology edited by Cor van den Heuvel, and Makoto Ueda's Modern Japanese Haiku as two of my most important early introductions to modernist Japanese haiku and contemporary English-language haiku. I was drawn to them not because the haiku in them resembled Imagist poetry, but because both collections represented a wide variety of haiku poets. I found it fascinating that contemporary haiku was obviously written from such a variety of poetic approaches. The poets in Cor Van den Heuvel’s The Haiku Anthology are clearly not imitating the Imagists nor trying to conceive of haiku as an imagistic poem. What I admire about that first edition of the anthology, and subsequent editions, is that the editor includes a wide range of approaches to writing English-language haiku and senryu. These haiku come from the haiku journals and demonstrate some evidence that they have been influenced by an increased access to haiku translations by scholars and poets such as Lucien Stryk, Makoto Ueda, R.H. Blyth, Donald Keene, and Hiroki Sato.

RDW: What do you teach your students regarding the composition of haiku? Most come from an academic system that teaches haiku superficially with little to no comprehension as to what a haiku truly embodies. How do you teach them differently, and do you teach them English Haiku as a distinct genre like many are championing today?

RB: My pedagogical approach is to help students discover the art of writing haiku by reading a lot of haiku with them and asking (okay assigning) them to continually attempt to write haiku. We read haiku and write and talk about favorite ones throughout the semester—why did we like this one so much? Here are the kinds of questions I ask throughout the semester as we read an incredible number of haiku writers:

What’s one of your favorite haiku? Read it out loud, slowly. Give it time to simmer in your mind and heart for a while. What did you feel in response to this haiku? Where did it take you in your imagined response? Why is this one so good? Where did it come from? How do you think the writer wrote this haiku? Why is this haiku so much better than other haiku? What do you notice when you read this haiku side-by-side with this other haiku? Which haiku do you enjoy reading over and over again? Find a haiku that you love every time you read it no matter how many times you’ve read it before. Why do you love that one so much? How is it written? We do this over and over throughout the semester, simply enjoying great haiku that the students want to call out to the attention of everyone in the class.

Eventually, the students are ready to start generalizing about haiku traditions, so I ask teams of students to discuss and write about what they discern as characteristics of the best, most effective haiku? What do they do? How are they written? What’s the nature of the language being used in these best haiku? Why does your group (or you) think these are the best kind of haiku?

Of course, I am leading them along the way to certain types of discoveries. For example, we read a collection of haiku by a single poet, such as Peggy Lyles. After discussing favorites, I ask the students what they notice about her approach to writing haiku—certain themes, language choices, range of emotions, seasonal nature, and significance in her haiku. What are the characteristics of Lyles’ best haiku? They will typically note that a lot of her haiku are focused on family and seem to come from her Atlanta “southern lady” cultural perspective. They enjoy her haiku that include a lot of references to music, cooking and nature. They conclude that Peggy’s haiku seem to be autobiographical, especially focused on pleasant moments. Then we will read a collection by George Swede, and the students discuss favorite haiku and senryu. Some immediately like the darker scenes and emotional struggles evident in George’s haiku, celebrating that his poems seem more realistic and “gritty.” Expecting their assumptions about haiku based on Lyles to also apply to Swede, they ask if he has gone through a bad divorce or been in a mental hospital. When they discover he has not, they realize that maybe his haiku are not as autobiographical as Peggy’s haiku. Ah, maybe his best, most characteristic haiku come from a different approach. We discuss his approach, and then the students are ready for a collection of haiku by a contemporary Japanese haiku poet, such as Masajo Suzuki.

Once the students get their bearings with contemporary English and Japanese haiku, we turn to questions about history and development of the genre, starting with Basho and ending with Shiki’s modernist reforms. I conclude the course with an introduction to contemporary renga, which includes a study of linking from Huruo Shirane’s wonderful book, Traces of Dreams. I teach haiku as a global literary genre with a variety of traditions over time and in different cultures.

Okay, I know that most of this long answer has been about how I get my students to become better at the art of reading haiku. I believe that student will learn how to write haiku because a natural response to reading good haiku is to write a haiku back. So I build my writing instruction around reader response and kukai, with a little editing help along the way.  While reading lots of haiku and discovering characteristics of the best haiku, my students are continually asked to write haiku attempts. In the first day of class, students read and select favorites from the latest issue of Mayfly magazine. Then for the second day of class, I assign them to read more haiku by a particular poet, and to write 5 to 10 first haiku attempts. At this point, they don’t even know how to ask how to write haiku, so they just go try it. They have to email their haiku attempts and reading responses to favorite haiku by midnight a day or two before the next class.

I read their first attempts (yes, it is slightly painful) but some are always surprisingly good from the get-go and worthy of selection for either a kukai or an editing session. More important than sharing all of their terrible attempts with each other or trying to workshop every attempt, I start with the same selection process as in the art of reading haiku—I find favorite ones and share them with others. Haiku that are selected for kukai are put on a sheet of paper, without author designations, so that students read through the attempts by fellow students and select their favorite haiku. Of course, this selection process is not very informed early in the semester, but as they become better readers of haiku, they also become much better at finding the best haiku in kukai as well. In kukai, we read out the favorite haiku, all join in a discussion of what we like or enjoy about that haiku, then vote on how many chose it as a favorite. Then the author is revealed and thanked. This continues until all favorite haiku are selected and top favorites are rewarded with haiku books for prizes. This is a purely joyous way to learn the art of writing haiku.

After students start complaining that really good haiku are hard to write and that they don’t know how to write haiku, I ask if they would like to learn how to edit haiku. Of course they say YES! So we have an editing session. I have already selected several haiku for an editing session—haiku attempts that are worthy but flawed in some way. In kukai, we only praise haiku we love as favorites. It is against the rules to make edit suggestions or negative comments to one of the anonymous haiku. In editing workshops, however, the haiku have been selected because they need edit suggestions or alternative versions. The student haiku are arranged on a sheet, again anonymously, so that the focus of the editing is on the haiku itself. The authors get the benefit of the editing comments and variations suggested without ever having to reveal their ownership of the haiku.

Here’s my quick process for editing sessions. I start by emphasizing the importance of reading the haiku and fully imagining the scene. Like any haiku, it should get the full reader’s chance to work as it is. I ask students to discuss what they imagine and feel from the haiku. If they have trouble understanding or imagining the haiku, they share why it didn’t work. Then we go into some editing strategies, all intended to generate variations of the existing version of the haiku attempt. I stress four possible processes: (1) cutting, (2) adding, (3) rearranging, and (4) replacing, which is actually a combination of cutting and adding. We look to see if there are unnecessary elements that can be cut without losing content or important phrasing. The goal is not to be minimalist but exact with every word and phrase. We consider if the haiku needs more context or universal connection that could be achieved by adding a hint of where, when or how things are being experienced. This might be to add a seasonal element, or a bit of nature or reality that helps the reader relate to the overall context of the haiku. Sometimes, a haiku is vastly improved by rearranging the images, to create a better flow of perception or movement of consciousness. And, of course, sometimes we simply have to cut and find a better word, phrase or image. Often, the entire class simply tries to write several variations of the same haiku, in order to find better possibilities within the start by the author. While we do this editing workshop several times throughout the semester, the goal is for students to do this with editing partners and to learn how to edit their own haiku as a continued habit. We talk about the goal of haiku to be read as a spontaneous expression, but that most haiku benefit from a careful consideration of variations and edits.

RDW: You said to me in an interview for Simply Haiku, a few years back:

"Studying the origins of haikai poetry traditions is very important, not just to literary critics but also to practicing literary creators, the haiku poets." You also stated that "language and techniques of the art speak from the traditions which now come from a variety of cultures. For example, the break in haiku and frequency of employing two images which is sometimes referred to as a montage or juxtaposition technique is related to the origins of haiku as the hokku, the starting verse of linked poetry in Japan. All of the other links in the linked verse can assume that the next link will leap or move the reader's mind in new directions, but the starting verse had to start that leaping process within itself. So haiku's leaping technique of moving consciousness from one focus to another has its origins in the linking poetry traditions. Studying renku and haikai no renga can help a great deal with understanding how much has to happen at once inside the images of the stand-alone haiku."

Matsuo Basho, as you know, was not an adherent of the "haiku moment" epiphany taught in most English-language haiku circles, a concept influenced by the writings of R. H. Blyth and Kenneth Yasuda. In fact, some of the haiku he included in his diaries were composed prior to his journeys, in renga competitions. Linked verse was almost erased in Japan by Shiki, whose thinking regarding poetics and aesthetics was influenced by the German-based university system in Anglo-Western nations and adopted as well by Japan as their standard for learning.

It seems to me that renga as you explain it works much the same way as Basho's zoka (the creative power of nature), in that it is unpredictable and never static. Is this what you meant by your assertion that "haiku's leaping technique of moving consciousness from one focus to another has its origins in the linking poetry traditions?" Studying renku and haikai no renga can help a great deal with understanding how much has to happen at once inside the images of the stand-alone haiku.

RB: From my years of participation in the haiku community as a writer, editor, and teacher, I would say that the most fundamental misunderstanding about haiku is related to conceptions of form in poetry. The essence of the haiku as a global genre of literature is related to form, but not as a characteristic of the structure of haiku.

Early in the semester my students realize that their conception of haiku as taught in the schools or based on Webster’s dictionary is wrong. After reading some haiku, inevitably, one of them asks, “Dr. Brooks, if haiku is not five-seven-five syllables in three lines, then what IS the form of haiku?” I tell them this is a good question, and one that they already know about from experience and can answer by reading haiku out loud. We read several haiku out loud and I ask them, “Did you hear the form of haiku?” They puzzle over it for a little while, and if necessary, I say, “Okay, let’s read a sentence or two and compare the sound of a sentence to haiku.” They listen and realize that a sentence almost always has another sentence before it and after it, and that they don’t give the reader much room to get into the thoughts or words of the sentence unless you really slow them down with artificial pauses. I ask the students to consider how the form of haiku guides their inner thoughts and reactions as they read the haiku out loud and think about them.

My students realize, “Ah, so form in haiku is about the silence!” And I answer yes, it is about the quiet space before and after the haiku, and usually the pause somewhere inside the haiku. So form is something that is heard, and in haiku the essential form is about the silence or the pauses crafted by the writer to invite the reader into the haiku’s space. Form is a means of providing the writer and reader with a movement of consciousness—something that occurs in readers’ minds and hearts as they take up the phrases and silences around and within the haiku. Haiku is not about a haiku moment, though most are written in the present tense, as if we are jumping into the middle of things happening. Haiku are moments of shared consciousness.

My students and I discuss haiku form as a psychological process of (1) noticing, then (2) thinking deeply about what we are noticing. The writer draws the reader’s attention to notice something, then invites the reader to join in the process of meditating or contemplating the deeper significance of the thing being noticed. The noticing is up front and often explicit, but the contemplation portion is left open to the reader as a process of felt imagination, interpretation, association, cultural memory. The form of haiku is to say notice this! Then the haiku implicitly asks, what do you think of that?

Haiku is not a closed form of verse with three lines of five-seven-five syllables, self-contained and finished by the author. Haiku is an open form of poetry in which the silences before, within and after the haiku resonate with surplus meaning. Basho called this surplus of meaning “yojô.” These unfinished silences are deliberately left open to the reader, so that the reader can enter into the imagined space of the haiku as a co-creator with the author to discover the feelings, thoughts, insights, and overall significance of the haiku. This surplus meaning is shared by the writer and reader, with a playful variety of unpredictable responses. In my opinion, this is the primary joy of haiku—the writer has crafted a haiku as a creative response to nature, reality, dreams, art, imagination, or to other haiku, and the reader gets to enter into that playful haiku with his or her own creative response and imagination.

As a teacher of haiku, I get to see students discover this playful creative response as they learn the art of reading and writing haiku. Student responses open up haiku that were never open to me before, they reveal new depths and feelings from haiku that have left me saying “so what.” Every semester students write new haiku that give back and continue the process of discovering “surplus meaning” through this exchange of creative response.

Follow up question: What about the structure of haiku on the printed page?

Some students still insist I help them understand the structure of haiku on the printed page. They have observed the variety of lines and structure of haiku in our readings, so they want to know what I think about English-language haiku structure. I note that language usage is closely tied to cultural conventions, so we find a wide variety of structural approaches to haiku across different languages. Japanese haiku are typically printed in a single vertical line and read from top to bottom. English haiku are typically printed in three lines, often with short-long-short phrasing. However, as my students have seen from their extensive readings, some English-language haiku are printed in a single horizontal line, in two lines, and sometimes in vertical lines of one word or less per line. I celebrate this diversity of playful creativity by haiku writers seeking to deliberately shape and precisely control the structural presentation of their haiku. The structure of the haiku on the printed page helps guide the reading process, and as noted before, I place a high value on reading each haiku slowly and out loud as an aural experience. The structure of haiku on the printed page varies widely depending on cultural conventions and deliberate preferences of editors and haiku writers. However, haiku form as a psychological process of noticing and contemplating remains consistent across cultures and language structure conventions.

RDW: Haruo Shirane in his book, Traces of Dreams, talks about the importance of both the horizontal and vertical axis of meaning in quality haiku. "The horizontal axis is how the images complete a sense of what's happening in the immediate sensory perceptions. The vertical axis is how these images resonate with allusions to the past; to history, to previous literary works, to cultural or collective consciousness. If we do not study the history of haiku traditions, we are missing out on opportunities to pay homage and to use language that comes from that vertical axis of shared associations and collective memories." Would you elucidate?

RB: After my students realize that some haiku are autobiographical and others come from a more imaginative approach, I share Shirane’s essay, “Beyond the Haiku Moment: Bashō, Buson and Modern Haiku Myths” originally published in Modern Haiku, 31:1 (Winter-Spring, 2000) and reprinted in Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry, 6:3 (Autumn, 2008). As we are studying Basho and the renga tradition, my students read excerpts from his book, Traces of Dreams. Shirane is wonderful at explaining that haikai were a social collaborative performance art and that they are literary works, with “textual density.”

Haiku are so accessible and enjoyable to everyone because they have both an immediate impact (the horizontal plane) on sensory imagination—what is happening now, in the dramatic space of the haiku. The horizontal plane is the process of noticing. Readers can quickly imagine the sense of “being there” and seeing and feeling the things talked about in the haiku, without the author providing interpretations or explanations to guide the readers’ responses.

However, the most evocative, best haiku also tap into something more lasting (a universal or symbolic) intuition of significance hinted at in the haiku—what Shirane refers to as “the vertical axis.” The vertical plane is the process of meditating or thinking deeply or enjoying the vibrant feeling about the significance of things noticed on the horizontal plane.

Readers see that there is more to the haiku than the initial imagined felt response—the reader intuits or realizes the importance of such feelings and gains insights about what it means to be human, to be alive, to enjoy the creative response of the haiku writer and themselves as a creative responsive reader. This intuited “surplus meaning” of feelings or significance is very cultural, based on the writer’s, as well as the reader’s, social backgrounds—their families, communities, arts, environments, social classes, literary experiences, language abilities, and education.

Of course, this is why the subtle connotations and unstated allusions in haiku are so difficult to translate. Sources of the vertical plane in Japanese haiku, such as kigo, simply don’t have an immediate equivalency in English-language haiku. This is one of the challenges for global haiku that seek a truly multicultural readership—there has to be some common, global consciousness or shared culture in order for such haiku to work in a way similar to the power of a haiku written within a cultural perspective for readers within the same cultural background. A good translator helps us understand both the immediate horizontal axis of a haiku as well as providing understanding of the intuitive vertical axis of meaning.

As humans, we are very aware of language as a social action, so haiku tap into that awareness of things “as they are” and as “symbolic” of more than they are. The haiku can be immediately felt and appreciated on the surface level of sensory imagination, but the haiku can also become a source of meditation, reflection and deeper intuitive feelings of cultural significance and understandings beyond the immediate felt experience. This social exchange is the joy of both reading and writing haiku.

RDW:  Thank you, Professor Brooks, for taking time from your busy schedule to be interviewed.

 



Randy M. Brooks, Professor of English, received his Ph.D. from Purdue University with a concentration in rhetoric and professional writing. His areas of academic research include professional writing curriculum, rhetorical theory, hypermedia, web publishing, technical writing and computer aided publishing.
Dr. Brooks is the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and has been an active proponent of experiential learning as a means of integrating theory and practice in the curriculum. He encourages Millikin students to perform their knowledge and expertise in order to make a contribution beyond themselves. He has been an editor and publisher of Brooks Books since 1976, and often invites students to participate in press activities.