Becoming Coach Shaw: How I Learned to Run My Own Race, co-authored by MFA graduate Kerry Beckford and Darwin F. Shaw. (2014).

Becoming Coach Shaw: How I Learned to Run My Own Race is about the challenges that an African American boy faced and how, despite those trials, he learned to persevere and succeed. Darwin’s road to success was made possible because of three important people: his high school track coach, Irving Black; his college advisor, Dr. William Exum; and his beloved grandmother, Madeline Williams. Each person played a pivotal role in Darwin’s life and, as the book details, provided unique guidance for a young man who could easily have lost his way.

Darwin F. Shaw has been a teacher and coach at his alma mater, New Britain High School in New Britain, Connecticut, since 1985. He teaches physical education and coaches boys’ junior varsity basketball and is the head coach for the girls’ outdoor track & field team. He is also an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and director of the Osgood Shootout, an annual basketball tournament whose proceeds help to fund college scholarships to graduates of New Britain High School.

Kerry L. Beckford is a nonfiction writer and teacher. Kerry has taught college composition, rhetoric, and communication for almost two decades. She is the co-author, with Donald C. Jones, of Connections: An Integrated Reader and Rhetoric for College Writing (Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2015). Kerry’s nonfiction work has appeared in, among others, Northeast Magazine, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, The Hog River Journal, and The Hartford Courant. Kerry is writing a memoir about her American and Caribbean roots and is an avid essayist. She blogs at “This is Who I Am” at