The Orange in the Orange:

A Novella and Two Stories

The Orange in the Orange, a novella and two stories by Fielding Dawson draws on his experiences as a prison teacher. In the novella, ‘The Orange in the Orange,’ “Dawson peels away at himself, in the hero-teacher character, with zeal and more deeply than he has before. Sure, the setting, in prison, where he teaches writing, kind of forces the issue. A prison building is a spectacle for all of us outside, but inside everything is detail. Detail requires alertness, and in prison there are penalties for lack of alertness. The teacher of prisoners is a spectacle until he or she proves otherwise.”

This book goes way against the grain of the entertainment culture, of industrial-strength spectacle… in The Orange in the Orange, the mind is working overtime, but the reader who works along with writer gets paid time-and-a-half. Reading Dawson, one is never ashamed of having idled away one’s time on literary bon-bons.
—Mr. Robert Bové

Fielding Dawson was a member of the Beat Generation and of the Black Mountain Poets – two movements that continue to reverberate through modern poetry. Like other Beats, Dawson often worked in a stream-of-consciousness style with minimal punctuation, lax grammar, and naturalistic dialogue. In addition, he was an accomplished painter and collagist whose visual work often appeared alongside his writing in literary magazines.

In later age, Dawson added teaching to his repertoire of talents. He taught writing to prisoners at Sing Sing, to at-risk youth at Upward Bound High School in Hartwick, and to Beatnik hopefuls at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder. He continued to write and teach until his death in 2002.