Winner of a 2017 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal in the Writing/Publishing category.
When the Rewards Can Be So Great is a compilation of selected crafts talks delivered by faculty at the Pacific University MFA program. An exciting introduction to some of the most alert and engaged minds in literary writing in the US across many genres, this collection allows readers to see how the authors think about writing and about teaching writing. The essays are at times deeply personal, providing insight into the development of the writers in their craft; others are sharply practical and filled with long-tested approaches for writing with power and effectiveness. All are characterized by care, generosity, and good humor-and reflect a wonderfully welcoming eclecticism of styles, interests, traditions, and diversity of voices.
- Preface by Kwame Dawes
- Why I Write for Children by Carolyn Coman
- The Shame, the Necessity, the Discouragement, and the Freedom: Rejection, Failure, and the Bigger Picture by John McNally
- 32 Statements About Writing Poetry by Marvin Bell
- Corn Maze by Pam Houston
- The Courage to Sound Like Ourselves by Scott Korb
- Get a Job by Benjamin Percy
- The Created World: Setting and Mystery by Claire Davis
- A Match Flaring Up in a Dark Universe by Sandra Alcosser
- The Geography of the Page by Valerie Laken
- First, You Tell: Exposition, Statements of Fact, and Using Prima Facie Evidence to Establish Yonder Discursive Fields by Mike Magnuson
- The Poem of the Moment by Ellen Bass
- Chameleon of Suffering by Kwame Dawes
- Intimacy, Realism, and Efficacy in the Battle of the POV: A Re-Introduction to 3rd Person by Steve Amick
- Jaws of Life by Laura Hendrie
- Nine Sentences by David Long
- Fiction in First Person: Narrators We Love—And Those We Love to Hate by Mary Helen Stefaniak
- The Brilliance of the Simple Line by Dorianne Laux
- Specificity? Yes, But Only If It’s Relevant
Works Cited by Debra Gwartney
- About the Authors
Preface © 2016 by Kwame Dawes 2016
Essays © 2016 by Sandra Alcosser, Steve Amick, Ellen Bass, Marvin Bell, Carolyn Coman, Claire Davis, Kwame Dawes, Debra Gwartney, Laura Hendrie, Pam Houston, Scott Korb, Valerie Laken, Dorianne Laux, David Long, Mike Magnuson, John McNally, Benjamin Percy, Mary Helen Stefaniak.
Born in Ghana in 1962, Kwame Dawes spent most of his childhood in Jamaica. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of that lush place, citing in a recent interview his “spiritual, intellectual, and emotional engagement with reggae music.” His book Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius remains the most authoritative study of the lyrics of Bob Marley. Dawes, former director of the MFA program at the University of South Carolina, was founder and director of the USC Poetry Initiative between 2000-2011. Between 2005 and 2011 he was the executive director of the University of South Carolina Arts Institute. Since 2008, he has been the associate poetry editor at Peepal Tree Press. Kwame Dawes is the Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and a Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dawes is the director of the Calabash International Literary Festival’s Writer’s Workshop and a faculty member of Cave Canem.