PCC instructor wins $30,000 writing prize - The Explorer: News

PCC instructor wins $30,000 writing prize

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Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013 11:33 am

Pima Community College instructor Margaree Gates Little is one of only six recipients of the 2013 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, a $30,000 prize given to U.S. women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise early in their careers.

Ms. Little has taught Writing at PCC since Spring 2013. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Southern Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, New England Review, The Missouri Review and American Poetry Review.

Her first collection of poems, “Rest,” came out of her work for a humanitarian aid organization on the Mexico border, where she found the remains of an unidentified man.  “Rest,” which explores the experience from variety of perspectives, was lauded by her nominator for its “lyric intensity, deft craft and encompassing reach.”

Ms. Little, who also tutors at the Pima County Public Library, received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 2009 and a Master’s in Fine Arts from Warren Wilson College in 2012.

“It's a tremendous honor, as well as deeply affirming and helpful, to have been selected to receive this award,” Ms. Little says. “I am grateful to the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and to the great community of teachers and writers at Pima Community College.”

Ms. Little says that the award will allow her to take a one-year leave from the county library, but that she still will teach at PCC. She says her next work is a series of poems exploring the relationship between two sisters and other aspects of childhood, as well as the woods and coastline of southern Rhode Island, where these experiences were shaped.

Novelist Rona Jaffe founded the writing awards program in 1995, and has awarded more than $1.5 million to emerging women writers. More information is available at www.ronajaffefoundation.org.

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