Professor of English
First year at St. Kate’s: 1977
Favorite poets: Mary Oliver, William Wordsworth, Linda Pastan
Research interests: The family, courtship and marriage in British literature
Favorite courses: A senior seminar on Jane Austen, Novels Into Film, and Mothers and Daughters in Literature. “It’s tough to choose just one.”
Crossing disciplines: Collaborating with other professors to teach interdisciplinary courses comes naturally to Chavis. “I like to bring together two disciplines and bridge gaps.” She has led courses with professors in biology, exercise and sport science, psychology and theology.
The healing power of poetry: Chavis is an expert on poetry therapy — the practice of using poems and creative expression to heal. She sits on the board of the National Poetry Therapy association, has led workshops all over the world and is one of only eight master mentor supervisors — top trainers of poetry therapists — nationwide.
Notable publications: Editor of The Healing Fountain: Poetry Therapy for Life’s Journey and Family: Stories From the Interior. She co-edited the first edition of the reader for “The Reflective Woman,” a required course for first-year students at St. Kate’s. She wrote a resource handbook, Poetry and Story Therapy: The Healing Power of Creative Expression. »
Just for fun: “Painting — pastel, watercolor, acrylic — is something I’ve gotten into lately. Also bicycling, kayaking, writing poetry, going out to eat with friends and traveling in Europe.”
Education: B.A., English, City College of New York, M.A., counseling psychology, University of St. Thomas; M.A., Ph.D., English literature and language, Syracuse University.