GLCA New Writer's Award

January 28, 2019


The Great Lakes Colleges Association announced that I won their 2019  New Writers Award for Nonfiction for my memoir, Mothers of Sparta.


The GCLA is consortium of 13 colleges in the Great Lakes area. I've never been to the Great Lakes area. I've never seen or smelled a Great Lake. How great are these lakes? I'm going to find out. With luck, I will get in one of these lakes. Wade around. Catch an extra-large Great Lake minnow. Roast it on a spit in an ice fishing hut. Ice fishing has always been a dream of mine, but it's on the harder side of things to achieve in Florida.


Here's what the GCLA judges had to say:


"Dawn Davies’ Mothers of Sparta deploys an accomplished and startling combination of funny and deeply serious language. Davies explores her identities of mother, wife, and partner, but also brings wry-self-awareness to the reality that our chosen identities transform us. She is able to produce paragraphs that are simultaneously hilarious and horrific, and also balance statements of unbearable pain with others of lightness, without slipping into either slightness or overbearing melancholy. Davies writes direct and probing essays about death, depression, sexuality, and parenthood from surprising angles. She deftly weaves her experiences as a woman with a simplicity of language, an elegant structure and a depth of emotion in these often redemptive essays. "Mothers of Sparta,"among the book’s most powerful pieces of writing, explores parenting with compassion and responsibility, making a significant contribution to our cultural conversation about disability. These essays examine our modern ways of being and becoming."


This is about the nicest thing anyone has ever written about my work.


The award comes with what sounds like ample opportunity to visit some of these colleges. Speak, do readings, work with their creative writing students and faculty, and I share the honor with two other badass writers, Lesley Nneka Arimah in fiction, and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo in poetry.


I am more than appropriately amped. If you know even a little about me, you know that I live to talk about creative writing. I am beyond happy when I get to work with other creative writers. It thrills me to teach what I know and talk about writing with others who are interested in it.  I'm very excited. You can probably guess that I am at Excitement Level (EL)10, which is the level that makes me talk extra fast, and want to bust through glass windows in pure glee.


Remember this SNL character? That's pretty much me, most of the time. Imagine what happens when I get to EL 10?





I hope y'alls 2019 is off to as fun a start as mine is. Best wishes to anyone reading this, and if you are in the Great Lakes, perhaps I'll see you in the fall!


Here's a link to the official announcement.







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