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The MFA Program in Creative Writing at Boise State University supports two award-winning literary magazines and a 29-year-old poetry press renowned for the quality of its list. Graduate students have the opportunity to take hands-on, practical classes in Writing, Editing, and Design for Professional Advancement (which includes work with The Idaho Review) and Small Press Publishing (which involves work with Ahsahta Press).

The program also publishes Free Poetry featuring essays and poetry from today’s leading poets.

cover of 2015 Idaho Review


Editor Mitch Wieland founded The Idaho Review in 1998 with the intent of creating a national, high-quality literary annual. Since that time, The Idaho Review has consistently won praise and awards. Stories published in the magazine have been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, New Stories from the South, and Best of the West. Contributors to the review have included Richard Bausch, Ann Beattie, Rick Bass, Joy Williams, Madison Smartt Bell, Pam Houston, Stuart Dybek, and Edith Pearlman. MFA students may participate in the magazine’s production through a graduate assistantship and coursework. See The Idaho Review website for more information.

AHSAHTA PRESS                   Ahsahata Poetry is Art

Boise State University’s Ahsahta Press was launched in 1974 by three Boise State English professors as a press that would resurrect and republish the poetry of Western American writers that had gone out of print. Soon, however, the press began publishing the work of contemporary Western writers as well, including poets such as Sandra Alcosser, David Baker, Linda Bierds, Gretel Ehrlich, and Leo Romero. Wyn Cooper’s poem “Fun,” which became a number-one hit song for Sheryl Crow, appears in his Ahsahta Press book The Country of Here Below. In 2000, after Ahsahta Press came under the aegis of the MFA Program, director Janet Holmes expanded Ahsahta’s reach beyond the West; in 2002, the press inaugurated the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, which awards $1500 to the a manuscript selected by a nationally known judge. See the Ahsahta Press website at for more information.

News & Announcements

  • Fiction professor Emily Ruskovich was featured in Treasure, the magazine supplement to The Idaho Statesman, in August 2017. The feature includes a video of Ruskovich at home in Idaho City, where she speaks about living in rural Idaho and her childhood on Hoo Doo Mountain.
  • Second year poet Michael McKee Green is the 2017 winner of the prestigious Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from the Wick Center at Kent State University. His book of poems, Fugue Figure, will be published by the Kent State University Press in the fall of 2018.
  • MFA graduate Erin Rose Belair won third place in Narrative Magazine's 2017 Winter Story Contest. You can read her winning story, "A Place Like This," here.
  • MFA graduate Meghan Kenny's debut novel, The Driest Season, will be published by W.W. Norton in February 2018. The book is based on a short story by Kenny of the same title which won the 2005 Iowa Review Award.
  • Collin Johnson has accepted a spot as a PhD candidate in English (Creative Writing/Poetry) at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. In addition to a GA stipend, he was awarded The President's Doctoral Tuition Fellowship which includes full funding for the first three years of the program.
  • MFA in Creative Writing student Ashley Barr has accepted a Chancellor's International Scholarship from The University of Sussex for an MA in Sexual Dissidence. The MA is co-convened through the School of English and the School of Global studies there, and focuses on queer theory and sexuality studies. When the program was founded 25 years ago, it was the first in the UK and one of the first of its kind in the world.