Joseph J. Capista, MFA



Contact Info

LA 4342


M.F.A. Poetry, Warren Wilson College
M.A. English, Iowa State University
B.A. Writing and Politics, Loyola University Maryland
Undergraduate Coursework, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)

Areas of Expertise

Creative Writing
Expository Writing


Joseph J. Capista teaches creative writing and expository writing at Towson University. His collection Intrusive Beauty was selected by Beth Ann Fennelly for Ohio University Press’s 2018 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. Poems by Capista have appeared in AGNI, The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, and Slate. Prose by Capista has appeared in the Baltimore Sun. His work in education has taken him into group homes, high schools, universities, preschools, and a state penitentiary.

A recipient of awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Capista holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College. He and his spouse are longtime residents of Baltimore, where they raise their daughters.


Poetics and Poetic Craft

Creative Writing Pedagogy

William Butler Yeats

Expository Writing

Creative Nonfiction

First-Year Composition


Book Publication

 Intrusive Beauty (Ohio University Press, Spring 2019)

 Selected Journal Publications

"40” Poetry Northwest XII.2 (2018): 41.

“Jellyfish” The Journal 42.1 (2018): 93.

“Mid-Flight Mid-Ascension Virgin Photograph,” Image: Art, Faith, Mystery 94 (2017): 79.

“Entreaty” Image: Art, Faith, Mystery 94 (2017): 78

“Explication of Consciousness on a Day of Rain” The Hudson Review LXIX.3 (2016): 432.

“The Beautiful Things of the Earth Become More Dear as They Elude Pursuit” The Hudson Review LXIX.3 (2016): 431.    

“Telescope” Poetry Daily Dec. 7, 2016.

“Kid Happens” AGNI 84 (2016): 161.

“Telescope” AGNI 84 (2016): 160.

“Cornicello” The Georgia Review 69.3 (2015): 456.

“On Music” The Hopkins Review 6.3 (2013): 339.

“Gut-Bomb” Ploughshares 38.1 (2012): 52.

“Thirtysomething Blues” Smartish Pace 19 (2012): 42.

“Last Request” Smartish Pace 19 (2012): 43.

“Exit Wound” Literary Imagination 12.1 (2010): 48.

Playboy’s Guide to LingeringSlate July 28, 2009.

“Sowebo” Beloit Poetry Journal 59.1 (2008): 12.

“In the Event of a Fire” America 10 Sept. 2007: 43.

“History of the Inevitable” Colorado Review 34.2 (2007): 76.

“Catch-and-Release Rat Fishing” Rattle 12.2 (2006): 20.

Selected Readings

Waiters’ Reading (Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference)

Smartish Pace Issue #19 Release (Baltimore)

KGB Bar (New York City)

Towson Literary Reading Series (Towson University)

Baltimore Book Festival (Maryland State Arts Council Reading)

Des Moines Poetry Festival


Advanced Poetry Writing: Guest Speaker (Loyola University Maryland)

Baltimore Writers’ Conference (Critique Faculty)

Writing in the World: Alumni Panel (Loyola University Maryland)

Do a Little Dance, Write a Little Poem: Structure, Tone, and Intonation in “Danse Russe” (Warren Wilson College)

M.F.A. Mentor (Warren Wilson College)

Alpha Program: Guest Speaker (Loyola University Maryland)

Young Writers’ Workshop (Mercy High School, Baltimore)

Picture This: Enhancing the Poetry Workshop Through the Language of Visual Design (AWP Conference, New York)

Coupling Prose and Poetry in the Composition (AWP Conference, Chicago)

Visual Texts as Tools for Written Analysis (AWP Conference, Baltimore)

Teaching English Composition/Proseminar: Guest Speaker (Iowa State University)

Creative Writing Mentor (Fort Dodge State Penitentiary)

Shelter Education Coordinator (Montana Youth Homes)


Maryland State Arts Council, Individual Artist Award in Poetry, 2011. ($6,000.)

Maryland State Arts Council, Individual Artist Award in Poetry, 2007. ($3,000.)

Sewanee Writers’ Conference,  Mona Van Duyn Scholarship, 2009. ($1,500)

National Endowment for the Humanities, “W.B. Yeats and the Two Irelands” Summer Seminar, National University of Ireland, Galway, 2006. ($2,500.)


American Association of University Professors

Association of Writing Programs and Writing Professionals (AWP)

Creative Writing Studies Organization

Italian American Writers Association

Poetry Society of America


Baltimore Writers’ Conference Critique Faculty

English Departmental Advisor

Transferring Student Summer Advisor

First Year Composition Mentor Committee Member

Lectureship Search Committee Member

University Service Roles

Academic Advisor (Department of English)

Transferring Student Advisor

First Year Composition Mentor

Lectureship Search Committee

First-Year Composition Mentor

Lectureship Merit Committee

Honors Thesis Committee

Course Co-Developer: Writing Baltimore

Departmental Teaching Observer


Hollis Summers Poetry Prize (Ohio University Press)

Pushcart Prize Nominee (2018, 2017)

Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference (Work-Study Scholar)

Maryland State Arts Council: Individual Artist Award (2011, 2007)

Sewanee Writers’ Conference (Mona Van Duyn Scholar)

National Endowment for the Humanities: Summer Seminar “W.B. Yeats and the Two Irelands,” National University of Ireland (Galway)

Teaching Excellence Award (Iowa State University)