Toni Lefton

Teaching Professor
Director of Honors and Scholars Program

Stratton Hall 413




Toni Lefton has taught creative writing, literature, and composition at the Colorado School of Mines since 1999. Her current research examines the intersection of literature, society, and science by exploring relationships between literary traditions and the comparative study of scientific discoveries. Toni is also interested in the work of dissident writers and the development of cultural and social revolutions found in the poetic histories of different societies. Through the lens of resident writers, she examines the counter-culture movements which attempt to shift the status quo towards race, class, and gender equity, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and the extension of human rights. In her creative writing classes, Toni teaches students the craft of poetry to help them explore their visions of the world, to communicate the tangible experiences of the human condition, and to learn creative approaches to strengthen their own critical communication skills.

Toni is a published poet and writer. She has read her essays on public radio, and a segment she co-wrote for Arizona Youth Radio was picked up by NPR’s This American Life. Her first chapbook of poetry, Everyday Crimes, won the Anhinga Intro. Prize in 1995. She held a Creative Writing Fellowship at Northern Arizona University from 1995-1997. She is currently working on a book length collection of poetry as well as a memoir. The memoir, Backyard Rogue, recounts her story of growing up in West Africa as an outsider as well as a witness to the civil war in Liberia during the late 1970’s.

In 2000 Toni became the faculty advisor for High Grade, CSM’s literary and arts journal. She also advises the Creative Arts Club: Bringing the World of Art to Engineering and Anonymous Right Brains. Toni currently serves as the Chair of the Student Board of Publications and is a member of the President’s Committee on Diversity.


Courses Taught

LAIS 100 Nature and Human Values 
LAIS 301 Creative Writing Poetry
LAIS 401 Poetry II 
LAIS 407 Science and Literature
LAIS 498 Great Women Writers

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