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G.W. Hawkes

A teacher for 26 years at Lycoming, G.W. Hawkes is a novelist, scholar, and poet who is

also recognized for his short stories. He won a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant

for his fiction in 2000, and Publishers’ Weekly called the prose in Hawkes’ novel, “Gambler’s Rose”

(MacMurray & Beck, 2000), “sharp and clean,” noting the “force and wily integrity of the tale.”

A self-described service brat, growing up Hawkes lived in England, Norway, Hawaii, and Texas,

and his novels are often set in remote locales. “I am drawn to places that are magical and imbued

with something enigmatic, like the Four Corners area,” where “Surveyor” (MacMurray & Beck,

1998) takes place, Hawkes said. He is currently working on a novel set on a Caribbean island

adorned with a beached 18th century British frigate.

Hawkes’ complex characters can be clairvoyant, or spring from a classic American noir. “In any

one of my books, I couldn’t tell you precisely where they come from, but they often find themselves

caught in the crossroads of fate and chance. Like Fitzgerald’s green light at the end of the dock that

became the lodestar for “The Great Gatsby,” sometimes my characters arise out of a line of dialogue

or voice I hear in my head, and the novel becomes an interrogation of that to find the themes and

story around it.”

In addition to his novels, Hawkes also writes a great deal of short fiction as well as scholarly

articles. “I could be working on both stories and novels at any given time. As I am writing a novel,

I often have bits that don’t belong there, and they become short stories. I look at my writing as a

kaleidoscope, you keep turning it until the patterns fall into a captivating design.”

He co-directs the creative writing program at Lycoming with Sascha Feinstein.

’’

I am drawn

to places

that are

magical and

imbued with

something

enigmatic,

like the Four

Corners area.

42

LYCOMING COLLEGE 2015 SUMMER MAGAZINE

F E AT U R E S