Kathy hagood

Why English?

I love the amazing truth and beauty inherent in literary works. Literature provides for me what music provides for some people. I actually feel it so deeply within my soul that I get chills when reading great passages. On a personal level, literature is life-altering! Literature makes me examine my life and improve myself because it’s so much easier to critique a character than to critique myself, yet I perceive my flaws through examining such a character. On a societal level, literature illustrates to its readers how great joy and great sorrow are experienced by all of humanity. It teaches readers to empathize with characters and with other members of society. Since there are such beauty and truth in literature, naturally, I want to share my love of literary works with others through teaching.

In addition to teaching literature, I also enjoy writing and teaching composition. There is a wonderful connection between writing and true discovery of exciting new ideas. I want every student to experience true discovery in their writing because it is such a wonderful and inexplicable feeling.


My love for literature and writing led me to pursue degrees in English after beginning college as a theatre major. I received my Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English from Tarleton State University in 1996 and 1998, respectively. Fortunately, while pursuing my Master’s degree, Dr. Randall Popken, a well-respected scholar in composition, served as my mentor. Popken’s influence has greatly impacted my teaching at Howard Payne, where I began teaching in August 1998, soon after graduating with my Master’s degree.

I teach Composition I and II, Women’s Studies, World Literature, Children’s Literature, and Development of Drama at Howard Payne University.

Books I recommend

Ron Hanson’s Atticus
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
Sandra Cisneros’ My Wicked Wicked Ways and Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories
Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony
M. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn

Favorite Quotes

“I write to discover what I know.” – Flannery O’Connor in The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

“Not-writing is a good deal worse than writing.” – Flannery O’Connor in The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor 

“[T]he unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates in Plato’s “The Apology of Socrates”

“Everything was being destroyed, see, but it seemed to me that one new thing was being made. A kind of … responsibility. Man for man.” –  Chris Keller referring to war in All My Sons by Arthur Miller

“By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” – Charlotte in E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web

“I lay there and thought how life was like a Littmus Lozenge, how the sweet and sad were all mixed up together and how hard it was to separate them out.” – Opal in Kate Dicamillo’s Because of Winn Dixie

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