Dr. Benito del Pliego is a poet, researcher and professor. He has published six poetry books, and his research interests include contemporary Spanish and Latin American poetry and literature. He also has studied migrations and exile in the Spanish-speaking world.
“Poetry continually pushes the limit of what we can approach with words,” del Pliego said. “It gives us a better understanding of ourselves in the world.”
Before coming to Appalachian State University, del Pliego was an instructor at Tulane University and taught Spanish for CARE International in Atlanta, a humanitarian organization.
He was born in Madrid in 1970 and has lived in the United States since 1997. He has maintained his connections with Spain by leading summer study abroad courses and by helping establish agreements between Appalachian and Universidad Pablo de Olavide and Universidad de Salamanca.
Del Pliego said leading study abroad programs, which he has done since 2007, gives him a chance to develop mentoring relationships with students by helping them learn and understand a new culture.
While in Spain, students explore culture, history and language and discuss their experiences with art, historical sites and immersion in a new way of life. Students also discuss social issues they witness or experience as a part of better understanding the country, he said.
“It is a privilege to see how Appalachian students integrate into a foreign society and fall in love with the county,” del Pliego said. “They secure a passion in learning languages and culture. I recommend all students to go abroad and learn about other cultures in their context.”