In 1996, 12 published authors were awarded at the first Colorado College Authors Reception. Since then, that number has gradually increased. This year there were 70 authors honored at the 2015 celebration.
“Anyone who publishes a substantive piece of work is invited to the ceremony where the president comes around and congratulates everyone,” Andrew Price-Smith, author and political science professor, said about the reception.
As Colorado College has grown over the past 18 years, it is no surprise that the number of publications by the college has increased.
Price-Smith was humbled by the award that he received. “They’re all better than me!” he said when talking about his co-workers. “I’m honored to be in a department with so many wonderful teachers and scholars—people like Tim Fuller and Dave Henderson—all of whom have done so much writing in their lives and have been great colleagues to me.”
Price-Smith’s most recent book, published through Oxford, is called “Rising Threats, Enduring Challenges.” Similarly, a new book, Price-Smith’s fifth publication, will be available in a week.
“I started writing as a grad student,” Price-Smith said. “[I’ve] continued ever since.”
Since Price-Smith began teaching he has found inspiration for writing within his students.
“It’s really helpful, the teaching helps to inform the writing,” he said. “A lot of the greatest questions that inform my writing actually come from my students in class.”
One of Price-Smith’s books, “Contagion and Chaos,” was written specifically for his students at Colorado College. Not only are the initials of the title CC, the cover of the book is in black and gold. “The whole thing was done as a recognition of the students,” he admits.
For Price-Smith teaching and writing are a two-in-one package. “I really love teaching, and I really love writing, and the two things are almost inseparable,” he said. “The teaching allows me to be a better writer.”
Bryan Hurt, author and English professor, also received an award this spring. Like Price-Smith, he finds lots of inspiration in his students.
“It’s a special pleasure to be able to teach creative writing here at Colorado College,” Hurt said. “In my opinion, the students here are uniquely talented and passionate, as are my fellow professors. There’s a real sense of community and camaraderie.”
Hurt’s first published book, “Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest,” features many fiction writers including his colleague at Colorado College, Steve Hayward.
Like Price-Smith, Hurt finds great appreciation for being able to write and teach simultaneously.
“It’s a total joy to write and teach,” Hurt said. “I consider myself extremely lucky that I get to do either of them, much the less both.”
Hurt strongly encouraged all CC students to take a writing class.
“The act of writing is a worthwhile and redemptive one,” he said. “When we write, we meet our own shortcomings and limitations—limits of imagination, limits of empathy—and overcome them. We write not just to document the world as it is but also to transform it into the world we want it to be.”