Faculty Feature: Steve Healey


(Photo: Kassidy Curry/City College News)

By Kassidy Curry

The son of a CIA agent with a bachelor’s in International Affairs, MCTC professor Steve Healey finds his power in filling the page. After spending his youth moving around the globe and banging on the drums, Healey learned a new approach to life: explore it through the writing process.

Healey discovered his passion for writing accidentally when he enrolled in a poetry class his senior year at the University of Virginia. He figured that it could help him write music for his band, but he soon grabbed hold of a new dream: to be a writer. He continued his education with an MFA in poetry before moving to St. Paul with his band. He took many part-time teaching jobs until coming to MCTC for his first full-time position. Healey finds the nontraditional student often better understands the significance of a college education.

“Giving students access to education, especially to a college education, is such an important mission and something that I really want to be a part of,” he said.

Healey has taught in various Minnesota colleges and even spent a bit of time teaching in correctional facilities where he has met students with very diverse backgrounds. He’s published two books of poetry, the first, Earthling, in 2004 and the second, Ten Mississippi, in 2010. Healey teaches students to take refuge in their writing, so they can gain a sense of control with the expression that pours from their pen.

“A lot of what I do is to encourage students to claim their own authority and expertise and to realize that no matter what their story is and whether they have experienced trauma or hardship or not, they all have a story and they can claim that as a form of power.”

Healey has a wife and two kids and is currently working on a third poetry book. He’s working hard to keep a balance between family life, personal writing, and influencing his students.

“I don’t have the wisdom to give to them. I don’t teach them lessons. I think what I teach them is a way to access the power that they already have.”