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ONLY ON 3: UNCW professor's previous publications attracting attention

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- UNCW recently hired an English professor whose previous publications are worrying some parents. Students say although some of the poems are shocking, they do not have a problem with the professor's risque work, and the university agrees.

Dr. Alex Porco teaches literature and poetry at UNCW. But poetry, papers and articles Porco has published sometimes focus on explicit themes. They have some people upset and questioning his qualifications.

"It's definitely sexual, and I feel like there might be a deeper meaning, but it's kind of lost on me," CFCC student Derrick Fowler said.

Porco wrote a book of poetry dedicated to pornstar Jill Kelly. In a poem entitled "Hot Girl-Girl Action University President Jill Kelly Welcomes This Year's Freshman Class," Porco refers to sex with freshmen students.

We went on campus at UNCW Tuesday, but students we spoke with did not want to talk about a professor and pornography. On the website Rate My Professor some students consider when deciding to take courses by a teacher, students give Porco a high rating.

With UNCW students keeping quiet, we showed excerpts of the poems to Cape Fear Community College students to get their reaction. 17-year-old student Haley Melik said she was lost.

"I didn't get the first one, and the second one was weird," Melik said.

But another student said he thinks the approach may help Porco connect with his students.

"I've noticed that teachers who identify with students better are more typically able to capture the attention of their students and reach them on a different level," Fowler said.

Porco would not talked to us on camera, and referred us to University Relations.

The university also refused an on-camera interview, but in a statement said, "Dr. Alex Porco, a full-time faculty member in the English Department, was hired based upon his record of scholarship, experience, subject matter expertise, and references. With respect to an employee's speech or writings external to their employment duties, both are protected by the First Amendment. While some may disagree personally with the content of an individual's writings, such content constitutes protected speech."

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