I talked to Seamus Heaney the year after he judged the National Book Award and gave Jack Myers the prize. Heaney said, “All the big names entered their manuscripts. And there was so much, ‘Look at me! I’m a poet!’ Then I came across Jack’s book, and it was authentic, and exciting. I’d like to meet the man. Tell me about him.” I did, of course.
Jack Myers was my favorite professor. He was rigorous, even though he was teaching “Creative Writing,” and many people, students and faculty alike, think a class should be easy. I learned enough from a few semesters with him to carry me successfully through an M.A. at Johns Hopkins and Ph.D. at U of Houston. I think his recommendation letters carried a lot of weight. He didn’t pat everyone on the head and tell them they were great, so I don’t think he earned as many “Outstanding Professor” awards as he truly deserved.