Dr. Donna Coffey Little might be the founder of Reinhardt’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, but her favorite course to teach remains the foundational course for undergraduate students, “Introduction to Creative Writing.”
“Sometimes people think that Creative Writing classes are easy,” said Little. “But any student who has taken a creative writing class with me or with Bill Walsh will tell you that it is not just touchy-feely stuff, it is hard work. As a musician studies and practices their instrument, so our students study and practice words.”
Little’s own practice with words has paid off in the form of two doctorate degrees, dozens of publications and conference presentations, and several fellowships and grants. Her proudest accomplishments include a chapbook called “Fire Street,” a fellowship to write about the relationship between science and religion, and her blog, www.etowahvalleypilgrimage.com.
Recently, Little received a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges to create an exhibit called “Forgotten Women Writers and Pine Log Mountain” in Reinhardt’s Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center, a project she will create with the assistance of student interns in 2019-2020.
“One of my happiest teaching moments was when I read an end-of-semester evaluation in which a disgruntled student wrote, ‘She actually expected us to read the book!’ I hope that I have been the reason why many students, willing or unwilling, have read books they would never otherwise have read. And that for some, it changed their life.”
In her time off, Little enjoys spending time outside on the 15-acre farm where she lives, hiking – especially on the Pine Log Mountain trail, and traveling.
Dr. Little will give a talk during this month’s Community Gathering, Wednesday, March 13 at 4 p.m., about the history of Pine Log Mountain. The public is invited.