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MFA in a Box - A Why to Write Book
     

MFA in a Box - A Why to Write Book

by John Rember
 

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MFA in a Box will help you take language from translucency to transparency, and make your readers feel like you've written for them alone. As author John Rember notes in the introduction, "MFA in a Box is not a how to write book. It's a why to write book.” By exploring the relationships between the writer and love, grief, place, family, race,

Overview

MFA in a Box will help you take language from translucency to transparency, and make your readers feel like you've written for them alone. As author John Rember notes in the introduction, "MFA in a Box is not a how to write book. It's a why to write book.” By exploring the relationships between the writer and love, grief, place, family, race, violence. and more, Rember helps writers dive deep into their own writing. He also tells you what you'll find there and how to get back. Along the way, you'll learn how to see the world as a writer sees it.

"A big part of writing involves grappling with the terrors and discouragements that come when you have writing skills but can't project yourself or your work into the future,” says Rember. “My hope is that MFA in a Box will help writers balance the despair of writing with the joy of writing. It's a book designed to help you to find the courage to put truth into words and to understand that writing is a life-and-death endeavor—but that nothing about a life-and-death endeavor keeps it from being laugh-out-loud funny.

Nautilus Book Awards, Silver Winner - Writing/Creative Process Category
—Nautilus Book Awards, May 14, 2011

Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize Short List, and 1st Runner Up - Reference Category
—Eric Hoffer Award, May 12, 2011

Midwest Book Awards, Finalist - Reference Category
—Midwest Independent Publishers Association, May 12, 2011

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Drawing on Gilgamesh, the Book of Job, the myth of Orpheus, his own life, and the lives of Ezra Pound and Jack Henry Abbott, with a little James Hillman thrown in, Rember (Traplines) argues that the only reason to write is to tell the truth about the soul-less, life-denying, nature-destroying culture we inhabit. This news simultaneously taps into a writer's deepest fantasy—I'm the one, the truth teller—and nightmare—writing really does require a descent into hell, and makes the writer superhuman, able to bear truths the rest of society can't. There must be a lot of kryptonite about, then, because Rember's effort often reads like a cross between self-help manual (face the darkness!) and a teacher's cri de coeur (go deeper; don't make me read another puerile story!). It's hard to argue with some of his points—yes, language lies, especially when writers mistake prettifying for deepening. But when the insights have to be plucked from a mash-up of overstatements, self-indulgent personal narratives, and gnomic and risible rules like "Dream as a God, write as a mortal," most writers and would-be-writers will opt to find another box. (Jan.)
Portland Oregonian - Jeff Baker
Rember's "MFA in a Box: A Why to Write Book is more than an advice book with a catchy title. What makes it different than the many, many books about writing on the market today is the way Rember engages his readers in some of the issues every writer faces--writing about place, about family, about grief--not as problems to be overcome but as issues to be understood. Jeff Baker, The (Portland) Oregonian, Jan. 3, 2011
Amazon - Robin Metz
Witty, audacious, and wise, MFA in a Box is a unique and valuable book that addresses the subject--and the life experience--of Creative Writing from both a practical perspective and in a manner so highly personable you'll read it like a memoir--and want to meet the author. Rember has the storyteller's magic. You'll be enthralled. And walk away a more astute and vibrant writer. Robin Metz, author-Unbidden Angel, winner-Rainer Maria Rilke Int'l Poetry Award, Dir.-Creative Writing at Knox College.
Hoffer Awards - The Judges
Rember cleverly makes the reader dig into her own unconscious wisdom to recognize the true jewel at the center of a story. This book is not filled with rules and dogma to guide the writing process. Instead, an understanding of our relationship to our place on earth, acknowledging that our civilization is built on violence, and 'how the big moments in life require a witness,' impel us to infuse our stories with truth.
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly PWxyc
Drawing on Gilgamesh, the Book of Job, the myth of Orpheus, his own life, and the lives of Ezra Pound and Jack Henry Abbott, with a little James Hillman thrown in, Rember (Traplines) argues that the only reason to write is to tell the truth about the soul-less, life-denying, nature-destroying culture we inhabit. This news simultaneously taps into a writer's deepest fantasy-I'm the one, the truth teller-and nightmare-writing really does require a descent into hell, and makes the writer superhuman
University of Alaska Low-Residency MFA Program - Jo-Ann Mapson
Beyond Burroway. This is the book for the serious student of writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780982579428
Publisher:
Dream of Things
Publication date:
01/01/2011
Pages:
274
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)

What People are Saying About This

Randy Richardson
John Rember's MFA in a Box should be on every writer's bookshelf, right next to On Writing by Stephen King and other great books on the art and craft of creative writing.
—Randy Richardson (President of the Chicago Writers Association chicagowrites.org Jan. 2011)
Jeff Baker
Rember's MFA in a Box: A Why to Write Book is more than an advice book with a catchy title. What makes it different than the many, many books about writing on the market today is the way Rember engages his readers in some of the issues every writer faces (writing about place, about family, about grief) not as problems to be overcome but as issues to be understood.
—Jeff Baker The Book Editor (Portland Oregonian Jan. 3, 2011)
The Judges of the Hoffer Awards
The essential truths about excellent writing.
—The Judges of the Hoffer Awards (hofferaward.com) May 2011
Robin Metz
Witty, audacious, and wise, John Rember's MFA in a Box is a unique and valuable book that addresses the subject (and the life experience) of Creative Writing from both a practical perspective and in a manner so highly personable you'll read it like a memoir (and want to meet the author). Rember has the storyteller's magic. You'll be enthralled. And walk away a more astute and vibrant writer.
—Robin Metz author of Unbidden Angel, winner of the Rainer Maria Rilke International Poetry Award and Director of the Program in Creative Writing at Knox College (Jan. 2011)

Meet the Author

John Rember is a fourth-generation Idahoan. Recurring themes in his writing include the meaning of place, the impact of tourism on the West, and the weirdness of everyday life.

His books include Sudden Death, Over Time (Wordcraft of Oregon, 2012), MFA in a Box: A Why to Write Book (Dream of Things, 2011), the memoir Traplines: Coming Home to Sawtooth Valley (Vintage: 2004), Cheerleaders from Gomorrah: Tales from the Lycra Archipelago (Confluence: 1994) and Coyote in the Mountains (Limberlost: 1989). He has also published numerous articles and columns in magazines and newspapers, including Travel & Leisure, Wildlife Conservation, and The Huffington Post. He has been a professor of writing for many years, most recently as a core faculty member of the Pacific University MFA program (Forest Grove, Oregon). He is Writer at Large at The College of Idaho.

John lives in the Sawtooth Valley of central Idaho.

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