Writing to Reclaim Your Sacred Self
Teaching Associate Tawni Waters
Tawni Waters is an award-winning writer and poet with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans. Tawni has taught fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry at Estrella Mountain College; multi-genre writing workshops for the Blueprint College Programs; an MFA writer’s retreat at Rosemont College; and writing workshops at the San Miguel Writer’s Conference and Burlesque Press Literary Festival.
Tawni’s debut novel, Beauty of the Broken, was released by Simon and Schuster in September 2014. In addition to winning the prestigious International Literacy Association’s Award for Young Adult Literature, it won the Housatonic Book Award, was named an exceptional book of 2015 by the Children’s Book Council and was shortlisted for the Reading the West Book Award. Tawni’s first poetry book, Siren Song, was released by Burlesque Press in 2014. Her essay, “The Ashes of San Miguel,” won the gold prize for the Solas Travel Writing Contest and appeared in Best Travel Writing 2010. Tawni Waters’ work has also appeared in multiple journals and magazines. Her second novel, The Long Ride Home, will be released by Sourcebooks in the summer of 2017.
As a professional writer and teacher, Tawni finds it almost impossible to distinguish the spiritual from the creative. She thinks of spirituality as a quest for one’s own truth, and of creativity as an expression of one’s own truth. She believes that all life is spiritual, that one is as likely to find glimpses of the divine in a blade of grass as in a chapel. She believes that our truest path to the divine — the ethereal, that unnamable something that leaves us momentarily shrouded in awe — is through our sacred selves.
When Tawni isn’t writing, she loves to act, travel, follow rock bands, and burn toast. (She can’t cook.) Reading is so much a part of her person, it has ceased to be a hobby and now serves as a vital and constant life function, akin to breathing. She has two grown children and two chihuahuas who think they are children. She will never grow up.