In Remembrance — Ilyse Kusnetz


A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses

It is with great sorrow and a heavy heart that I announce that Ilyse Kusnetz, professor, English, passed away after losing her battle with cancer.

But much like her poetry that will remain etched in the books of her published works, her memory will live on in each of us.

Ilyse was a beloved professor and a friend to many, as well as a woman of rare and incredible talent.

Her many awards and accolades, such as the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry from Truman State University Press for her poem “Small Hours,” serve as evidence of that skill. But Ilyse didn’t need awards for someone to recognize her natural and remarkable ability to evoke emotion and infuse immersive imagery into her work, as this is evident in every poem she wrote.

Ilyse earned her Master of Arts in creative writing from Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in contemporary feminist and postcolonial British literature from the University of Edinburgh. Her poetry has graced the pages of countless journals and anthologies.

Equally as dedicated to critiquing poetry as she was to creating it, Ilyse also published numerous reviews and essays on contemporary American and Scottish poetry and served as book review editor at the Florida Review.

As a professor, she helped ignite a passion for poetry in others so that many future generations can continue to enjoy the rhythmic harmony found uniquely in poems.

Ilyse is survived by her husband, poet and memoirist Brian Turner.

I offer my sincerest condolences to those who knew Ilyse as a friend, a colleague and an inspiration. She will be greatly missed.


As this may deeply and emotionally affect many employees who knew her, I encourage those of you who need help processing this to utilize Valencia’s resources.

Valencia’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will be hosting individual and small-group counseling sessions on Thursday, September 15, 2016, on the Winter Park Campus in Room 246 from 1 – 5 p.m. Small group sessions will be held at 1 and 3 p.m., with individual sessions occurring between and after them as needed. Sessions will also be held Monday, September 19, 2016, on East Campus from 2 – 6 p.m. in Building 4, Room 212B. Employees from any campus are welcome to attend.

You can also reach out to EAP by calling 866-248-4094 if you’d like to talk with a counselor over the phone or obtain referrals for counselors in your community. EAP is available to employees 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also find additional resources on the EAP website.

Lastly, you may want to review this informational flyer, which details how to navigate the emotional impact of death in the workplace.

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