The Next Draft: Inspiring Craft Talks From the Rainier Writing Workshop

Brenda Miller, editor
Published in 2024
by University of Michigan Press

For over twenty years, student writers have been gathering at the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program in Tacoma, Washington, to learn from faculty such as Barrie Jean Borich, Geffrey Davis, and Oliver de la Paz, who deliver craft lectures on inspiring, innovative approaches to writing in the school’s Xavier Hall. In The Next Draft, fellow faculty member Brenda Miller collects nineteen of these “morning talks” by Jenny Johnson, Kent Meyers, Lia Purpura, and others. Together they explore everything from imagism and Jewish textual analysis to the long tradition of writing as an art and the unique position of the writer in the twenty-first century. “These talks often become the touchstone for our conversations throughout the residency,” writes Miller in the introduction. “We emerge from Xavier Hall excited about how to read literature differently and how to bring our own writing to a new level.”