Tracy Daugherty and Marjorie Sandor utilize their writing and teaching abilities in OSU’s master’s degree program in creative writing.

Husband and wife wins major writing awards
Husband and wife wins major writing awards

When Marjorie Sandor and her husband, Tracy Daugherty, captured major writing awards last year, it was nothing new for either of them.

Sandor won the 2004 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction for her collection of 10 short stories, Portrait of My Mother, Who Posed Nude in Wartime.

The stories are fictional portraits that revolve around a Jewish immigrant family that keeps secrets from each other to protect the younger generation from the family’s unfortunate history and contemporary struggles. “My mother really wasn’t very thrilled with the title,” Sandor says. “I had to explain to her the context for the title, and then she was okay with it.”

Daugherty, meanwhile, brought home the Oregon Book Award for the novel for his book, Axeman’s Jazz.

It was the third time he has won the Oregon Book Award, taking it for short fiction in 2003 and for the novel in 1996. Sandor won an Oregon Book Award in 2000 for a collection of essays, The Night Gardener.

Both are faculty members in OSU’s Department of English, and they bring their writing talents and success to the classroom as teachers in the university’s master of fine arts program in creative writing.

Daugherty, who is director of the MFA program, says although writers tend to be introspective and he was “petrified” when he first started teaching, he believes writing and teaching can be complementary activities.

“Learning to articulate an element of craft to a writing class helps me be clearer in my own approach to writing,” he says. “In other ways, they are opposed activities. In teaching the critical mind is most engaged; in writing, it’s the creative side of the brain that’s tapped.”

Sandor award news release

Online interview with Daugherty

Online interview with Sandor

MFA program in creative writing

Audio Selections (MP3)
You can download a free audio player from

Marjorie Sandor:
audio icon Elegy for Miss Beagle (MP3) and (text equivalent)
audio icon Portrait of My Mother, Who Posed Nude in Wartime (MP3) and (text equivalent)

Tracy Daugherty:
audio icon Power Lines (MP3) and (text equivalent)
audio icon Lamplighter (MP3) and (text equivalent)

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