When the Rewards Can Be So Great: Essays on Writing and the Writing Life

Kwame Dawes, editor
Published in 2016
by 1849 Editions

“Here and there, we find these gems, these glittering gems of pure delight in the art, and they remind us of why we do this work, why we keep coming back to make this art that we do, why we keep trying,” writes Kwame Dawes in the preface to this collection of craft talks on writing and the writing life delivered by faculty at the Pacific University MFA in Writing program. Organized into three sections titled “Reflections on the Writing Life,” “Reflections on the Writing Process,” and “Reflections on the Nuts and Bolts of Writing,” the essays express both the personal and technical aspects of being a writer in the world. Featuring essays by Ellen Bass, Marvin Bell, Pam Houston, Dorianne Laux, and Mike Magnuson, among others, this collection offers writers of all backgrounds insight from a range of voices and styles that make up a community enriched by writing. As Dawes writes, “What we bring is our own distinctive history, our own narrative of struggle and triumph in the making of our art, and our satchels full of the wisdom and empathy that other writers have given to us.”  


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