The Essential Don Murray: Lessons from America's Greatest Writing Teacher

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Overview

Lessons from America's Greatest Writing Teacher

Don Murray's mission was to demystify writing by revealing as much as possible about the habits, processes, and practices of writers. This book carries on his work and shows the evolution of his thinking by collecting his most influential pieces as well as unpublished essays, entries from his daybook, drawings, and numerous examples of his famous handouts.

KEY WORKS ON WRITING IN ONE COLLECTION

Writing as Process: How Writing Finds Its Own Meaning The Listening Eye: Reflections on the Writing Conference Teaching the Other Self: The Writer's First Reader Write Before Writing Writing Badly to Write Well: Searching for the Instructive Line All Writing is Autobiography and more

60 years of work and wisdom: THE ESSENTIAL DON MURRAY

Don Murray on...

teaching writing as process, not product

"Instead of teaching finished writing, we should teach unfinished writing, and glory in its unfinishedness. We work with language in action. We share with our students the continual excitement of choosing one word instead of another, of searching for the one true word. This is not a question of correct or incorrect, of etiquette or custom. This is a matter of far higher importance."

understanding the writing process

"The process of making meaning with written language can not be understood by looking backward from a finished page. Process can not be inferred from product any more than a pig can be inferred from a sausage. It is possible, however, for us to follow the process forward from blank page to final draft and learn something of what happens."

knowing the writer within

"There is always magic in this for me, and wonder because I do not know what I am going to say until it is said. The writer within is always a stranger, with a grin, a top hat and long, quick fingers which produce what was not there before. I shall never know this magic man well, although he has been with me for sixty years. He entices me with his capacity for surprise."

doing the work of writing

"Writing is primarily not a matter of talent, of dedication, of vision, of vocabulary, of style, but simply a matter of sitting. The writer is a person who writes."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867096002
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa C. Miller is coeditor (with Thomas Newkirk) of The Essential Don Murray, which gathers the most important insights about writing and teaching writing from "America's Greatest Writing Teacher."

For nearly 60 years Donald Murray was a tireless explorer, chronicler, and advocate of writers, writing, and the teaching of writing. "We are coaches, encouragers, developers, creators of environments in which our students can experience the writing process for themselves," he wrote in 1972. Through the years and over numerous books, academic articles, newspaper columns, classroom handouts, writing conferences, and warm collegial conversations, thousands of students, writers, and teachers benefited from Don's work. Millions more continue to benefit by the wide circle of his influence over the fields of writing, writing instruction, journalism. Some of Don's most important insights about writing and teaching writing are collected in the Heinemann's The Essential Don Murray (edited by Thomas Newkirk and Lisa Miller). A Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, Don was a columnist for The Boston Globe and Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. He was also a writing coach for several national newspapers, wrote poetry for many journals, including Poetry, and authored several books on the craft of writing and teaching writing, including Learning by Teaching, Expecting the Unexpected, Shoptalk, and Crafting a Life in Essay, Story, Poem, and Writing to Deadline. Read article on seacoastonline.com featuring Don Murray

Thomas Newkirk's most recent books with Heinemann are The Art of Slow Reading (2011), Holding Onto Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones (2009) and Teaching the Neglected "R" (2007, coedited with Richard Kent). His Misreading Masculinity (2004) was cited by Instructor Magazine as one of the most significant books for teachers in the past decade. A former teacher of at-risk high school students in Boston, Tom is Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, the former director of its freshman English program, and the director and founder of its New Hampshire Literacy Institutes. He has studied literacy learning at a variety of educational levels - from preschool to college. His other Heinemann and Boynton/Cook titles include the NCTE David H. Russell Award winning Performance of Self in Student Writing (Boynton/Cook, 1997), Taking Stock: The Writing Process Movement in the 90s (Boynton/Cook, 1994, coedited with Lad Tobin), and Nuts & Bolts: A Practical Guide to Teaching College Composition (Boynton/Cook, 1993). In addition, Tom is coeditor (with Penny Kittle) of Children Want to Write, which is a collection of Donald Graves' most significant writings paired with recovered videotapes that illuminate his research and his inspiring work with children and teachers, and coeditor (with Lisa Miller) of The Essential Don Murray, which gathers the most important insights about writing and teaching writing from "America's Greatest Writing Teacher." Thomas Newkirk has been named the 2010 recipient of the Gary Lindberg Award for his outstanding contributions as a faculty member of the University of New Hampshire. Read the Award Announcement ยป

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