Pat Smiling

AWA was founded by Pat and Peter Schneider in 1981

The AWA method was first outlined by Pat in her book, Writing Alone and With Others (Oxford University Press). Pat has also written many other books, published by both AWA Press and Oxford University Press, most recently How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice.

Pat, now retired from her position at AWA, continues her work as a writer and workshop leader.

From Pat’s own website:

“Pat is a poet, playwright, librettist, and author of ten books of poetry and non-fiction. She was born in the Ozark mountains of Missouri where she became intimate with fossils, creekbeds, grasshoppers and box turtles. After a search for work took her single mother to St. Louis, from age ten Pat lived in tenements and in an orphanage until she was given a scholarship to college. Those early experiences have deeply influenced her writing, and fueled her passion for those who have been denied voice through poverty and other misfortunes.”