With a lifelong love of reading, Lewis Putnam Turco always wanted to do for others what his favorite writers did for him his whole life. Mr. Turco has been a gifted writer since he was a child, winning many national and local awards for his work. He first began writing in high school as a correspondent and morgue clerk for his local newspaper, The Morning Record. After high school, he received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut in 1959. In 1960, he began his career as an instructor at Cleveland State University. While serving in this position, his obtained a Master of Arts from the University of Iowa in 1962. He later went on to become an assistant professor at Hillsdale College from 1964 to 1965. Then, for the next 31 years, he served as an assistant professor and then a full professor at the State University of New York at Oswego. At Oswego, he founded the creative writing program in 1968, became a poet-in-residence in 1995, and earned the title of professor emeritus in 1996.
Outside of his primary appointments in the field, Mr. Turco also served as a graduate assistant in English at the University of Connecticut, an editorial assistant in the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a visiting professor at the State University of New York at Potsdam. He was also a Bingham poet-in-residence at the University of Louisville, a writer-in-residence at Ashland University, and the founding director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Civically, Mr. Turco has been active in his community with the Oswego Opera Theater Chorus, the Oswego Festival Chorus, and the City of Oswego Charter Revision Committee.
Throughout his prolific career, Mr. Turco has been continuously recognized for his contributions to his field. He was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Ashland University and the University of Maine at Fort Kent in 2000 and 2009, respectively. In 2012, he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Arts in humanities from Unity College. Mr. Turco considers his proudest moment in his career as his time spent in the U.S. Navy. He served in the Navy from 1952 to 1956 and traveled around the world on the USS Hornet. In his spare time outside of work, Mr. Turco enjoys gardening.
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