Division of HumanitiesMFA in Creative Writing - Low Residency

Rainier Writing Workshop

"I am impressed with the caliber, commitment, and generosity of the faculty. Their willingness to engage with us in and out of our classroom made this experience unlike any other I've had."

Rebecca McClanahan

Rebecca McClanahan

Nonfiction, Poetry





Mentor. Workshops and classes in nonfiction and poetry.

Statement: "In my workshops, I am not interested in 'fixing' so-called flawed texts; fixing is the work of morticians. I am interested in helping writers discover what their drafts want to be when they grow up. How do we locate the essay hiding within the messay, the memoir stalled on a ME-more track, the poem trying to sing its way out of the journal’s pages? Our task as writers is not only to pay attention to our world but also to use the materials of the world in extraordinary ways. To do this, we must uncover the subtle design, the 'figure in the carpet' that is woven into even the most everyday events. Often we must proceed without knowing what form the work will finally take. We write our way into the question, into the mystery. Writing begets more writing; meaning grows on the page."

Rebecca McClanahan’s most recent books are Deep Light: New and Selected Poems 1987-2007 and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, which won the 2005 Glasgow Award for nonfiction. She has also published four previous volumes of poetry and three books about the writing craft, including Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively.

Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, The Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Boulevard and numerous anthologies, and her awards include the Wood prize from Poetry, a Pushcart Prize in fiction, and (twice) the Carter prize for the essay from Shenandoah.  She lives in North Carolina.