About

I have published poetry in the Austrian anthologies Reihe Lyrische Hefte 6/2023 and Reihe Lyrische Hefte 6/2024. In August 2023, I was proud to be invited to Klagenfurt, Austria to read my poetry with several Austrian writers; it was one of the most memorable experiences of my literary career. My articles have appeared in The Associated Press, Crain’s New York Business, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, American Writer, and other publications.

I have an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and have taught English and Creative Writing at several colleges, including Hofstra University and Marymount Manhattan College. Currently, I am an Adjunct Associate Professor of English at Farmingdale State College in Farmingdale, Long Island.

Zelda’s Daughters: A novel mirroring a life story

ZELDA’S DAUGHTERS  is a timely novel about a woman who attempts to find the disabled twin she has not seen since they were three years old; separated by a mother battling mental illness and heroin addiction, 27-year-old Hallie Brenner explores her dark past as she tries to create a brighter future for herself and her sister. This semi-autobiographical story about secrets, loss, and love—profiled in multiple newspapers—closely hews to my real-life experience, my biological parents’ addiction, and my reunion with my twin sister.

Blog

Teacher’s Pets

Over the past twenty-eight years, the number of students I’ve taught would literally fill an arena. Since I’m not cut out to be a rock star or athlete, it’s wonderful that I’ve had the privilege and pleasure to teach thousands of students English; I’ve been passionate about it ever since I was in sixth grade, …

Procrastination Procrastination is easy to do. And it’s fun! In fact, just now as I’m supposed to be writing this blog post, I’ve got 12 tabs on my internet browser open…my mind is wandering to what I’m going to make myself for lunch…yes, I think I’m going to go take a break and get lunch …

Professor

The number of students I’ve taught in my composition, creative writing, journalism, feature writing, mythology, and speech classes since 1992 could literally fill a stadium. Since being a rock star isn’t in my DNA, I’ve carved out a rewarding career teaching college students about the joys of the written word.

I tell my students that it “curls up my toes” to see them get intrigued, mystified, and excited by authors such as James Baldwin, James Brown, Kiana Davenport, Jhumpa Lahiri, and many other writers whose unique perspectives often connect with my students’ in surprising ways: culturally, intellectually, and psychologically. When we study brilliant authors together, students are often amazed that these writers’ longings, fears, and victories often connect in some ways to their own.

Whether they’re writing source papers, short stories, poems, speeches, or feature articles, I encourage my students to approach their assignments as a creative endeavor where they challenge themselves and share their deepest thoughts in ways they don’t usually do on a daily basis. Their abilities and insights shine when they feel they’re in a safe, supportive class–free to make and revise errors, explore ideas about personal, cultural and societal topics, and share work with their peers and professor. I hope their excitement and skills follow them into future classes and, of course, their careers.

H. S. Brett has taught at the following university and colleges:

Hofstra University

Marymount Manhattan College

SUNY Farmingdale State College

Suffolk County Community College

Five Towns College

Kingsborough Community College

Queensborough Community College

York College