News Archive: 2013

Winter 2013

Brandon Shimoda's (MFA 2006) fourth book of poetry Portuguese, a collaboration between Tin House and Octopus Press, was released.

Aaron Shulman (MFA 2009) published essays in The Los Angeles Review of Books and The American Scholar.

Rachel Mindell (first year MFA) was named the Editor-in-Chief of CutBank for 2013 - 2014.

Samuel Jack (second year MFA) had three of his translations of Rilke's poems from Book of Hours published in Alchemy, the translation journal from UCSD.

Jeff Whitney (MFA 2012) had three poems appearing in Saudade Review. He also had a broadside of his poem, "Letter to Cheef BooHoo," printed with Thrush Press.

Daniel Cadigan's (BA 2012) story, "More Than Magazines," appeared in Cedilla VI.

Naomi DeMarinis Kimbell's (MFA 2008) essay, "Sea Change," appeared on Pithead Chapel. Her essay, "Whistling in the Dark," previously published in Black Warrior Review, was anthologized in Blurring the Boundaries: Explorations to the Fringes of Nonfiction. Kimbell’s essay, "Bounty," published in the Iowa Review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Candie Sanderson (first year MFA) had three flash fiction pieces up on Two Serious Ladies.

Dana Fitz Gale (third year MFA) had a story in Quarterly West. Wynne Hungerford's (undergraduate creative writing student) story, "What Even Clear Water Can Hide," appeared in the winter 2012-2013 issue of Whitefish Review.

Suzy Bertsche, Maureen Palmersheim, Joseph Poling and Jenni Warren, undergraduate creative writing students in the Montana Writers Live class, had their author reviews of Amy Ratto-Parks, Kelly Barth, Rick Bass and Sharma Shields appear on The Write Question blog in December.

JP Kemmick (first year MFA) had a short story published in Pacifica Literary Review.

Chris Dombrowski's (MFA 2001) second book of poems, Earth Again, was published by Wayne State University Press.

MFA 2012 graduates Clint Garner, Kate Rutledge Jaffe and Jeff Whitney started Peel Press, an independent literary press dedicated to identifying and nurturing genre-bending literary work.

Emily Danforth's (MFA 2006) The Miseducation of Cameron Post won the 2012 Montana Book Award.

Erin Saldin's (creative writing lecturer) The Girls of No Return was one of four books honored by the Montana Book Award committee. Saldin’s story, "Homesteaders," was published in Five Chapters.

Prageeta Sharma's poem, "Folly Stamp," was voted one of the reader's choice poems for 2012 on

Ed Skoog had a new entry to his Lunchbox podcast with J. Robert Lennon, "Another Glass of Lasagna."

Alice Bolin's (MFA 2011) poem "Watercolor Kit" was published in the February 1st issue of Guernica. Her poem "Yearbook" was in issue 15 of Octopus.

Amy Ratto-Parks' (MFA 2004) poem "Tryptich" was published in issue 3 of Mojo.

Andrew Martin (second year MFA) had a review of Nick Tosches' Me and the Devil in the "Briefly Noted" section of the Jan. 28 issue of The New Yorker.

Kevin Canty 's story, “Mayfly,” was in the Jan. 28 issue of The New Yorker. See an interview about the story.

Judy Blunt's essay, "Occupying the Real West," appeared in New Letters, vol. 78 nos. 3 & 4.

Deirdre McNamer's second novel, One Sweet Quarrel, was reissued as part of Amazon's Book Lust Rediscoveries Series.

Melissa Kwasny's (MFA 1999) Earth Recitals: Essays on Image & Vision was published with Lynx House Press.

John Bennett (first year MFA) had poems in Concho River Review and The Manila Envelope.

BJ Soloy's (second year MFA) poem, "Tableaux Vivants," was published in New American Writing.

Emma Törzs' (MFA '12) story, "Come the Revolution," was in Ploughshares. Her poems, "The Comet" and "Ahab's Wife," were published in the Indiana Review. Her poem, "Watching Fireworks Alone," was published in Rattle. Törzs and Jennifer Duffield White (MFA '12) were both finalists in the Fall 2012 Narrative Story Contest.

Jason MacLeod (MFA '09) was awarded an artist's grant to spend December 2012 at the Vermont Studio Center. His poem, "Poem at the End of the World," was published in Word Riot and another, "Reykjavik," is forthcoming in a yet to be titled anthology combining the artwork of Virginia Dehn and verse.

Dillinger Steel's (Post-Graduate Student) song, “Contrary Warrior,” was recorded with his band Native Zen and posted on youtube.

David Gates's story, "An Actor Prepares" was published in The Paris Review. Gates was also featured in With a Little Help From Our Friends: A Hunter MFA Anthology.

Alice Bolin's (MFA '12) poem, "New Drawling,” was featured in the Nashville Review. Bolin also had articles in This Recording on Taylor Swift and Lindsay Lohan.

Kate Rutledge Jaffe (MFA '12) had a short story, "Trickster," in The Missouri Review and a poem in Tin House. Her chapbook, “Coastal Again,” was a finalist in DIAGRAM's 2012 chapbook contest.

Lauren de Paepe (second year MFA) had a poem online in LOG.

Debra Earling was interviewed by Paulette Beete for the National Endowment for the Arts Artworksblog.

Spring 2013

Programs of National Distinction

Creative Writing is one of three top programs at the University of Montana that was recently named a Program of National Distinction (PoND) by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. With this distinction, additional funds will be added to the Creative Writing Program's base budget--most of which will be used to increase student support. MFA teaching stipends will go up, and the CutBank Editor position will now be fully-funded. “UM’s Creative Writing Program is one of our nation’s oldest and most prestigious writing programs,” Director Judy Blunt said. “PoND status will afford us a competitive edge in terms of recruiting the most talented students and will help us maintain our place in the top tier of creative writing programs nationwide.” One of the new support positions created by the PoND funding is that of Undergraduate RA, a part-time job assisting with the Montana Writers’ Live! survey course, and with the production of the undergraduate literary magazine, The Oval.

Truman Capote Funds

The Truman Capote Literary Trust has awarded the Creative Writing Program $40,000 to fund graduate scholarships for the 2013-14 school year, with a pledge to fund in the same amount for the following school year. Trustees mentioned the excellent reputation of our program and the high rate of student success in publishing as factors for granting this award.

Creative Writing Program Endowment

Timothy O’Leary, an alumnus, and his wife Michelle Cardinal, have committed $250,000 to an endowment that will benefit the Creative Writing Program over many years. Half the funds are aimed to support CutBank, the graduate student literary journal, and half will be used for MFA scholarships. O’Leary and Cardinal also provided seed money for Putting Liberal Arts to Work: Career Conference for Writers, Readers and Thinkers.

Putting Liberal Arts to Work

The Creative Writing Program hosted a career conference aimed at a broad spectrum of liberal arts and writing majors, offering an opportunity to explore career options that emphasize research, analysis and written communication skills. The March 15 conference showcased representatives from professions that hire English graduates, as well as professionals who forged successful careers from a liberal arts background. The keynote speaker was Timothy O’Leary, a UM alumnus who combined business with creative writing, and currently is CEO of the R2C Group, the largest consumer direct ad agency in the U.S. Breakout sessions on resume building, literary agents and freelancing, and the final panel on publishing, were well attended.

Emma Törzs (MFA 2012) had the story of the week, "Patchwork Elephant," on Narrative.

Khaty Xiong’s (MFA 2013) poetry manuscript, Elegies, was selected as the winner of the 2013 Merriam-Frontier Award. The judges describe Xiong as a “writer who has found both her subject and her voice.” Her work is “smart, profound and thoughtful.” The Creative Writing Program celebrated with a reading by Xiong and a reception in the Poetry Corner. Xiong’s chapbook is due out mid-June. Xiong also has three poems forthcoming in Alice Blue Review's 20th issue.

Philip Schaefer’s (first year MFA) poem, “Canceled Weather,” was selected by Michael Earl Craig as the winner of the Academy of American Poets College Prize for The University of Montana.

John Bennett’s (first year MFA) “Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919” and Rachel Mindell’s (first year MFA) “Picture Tahoe” were both given honorable mention.

Congratulations to our Creative Writing Scholarship winners for next year... Opus Scholarships: Brendan Jordan and Meagan Trainer; Margaret Beebe Memorial Scholarship: Erik Nielsen; O'Leary/Cardinal Award in Prose: Rikka Wommack; Richard Hugo Memorial Scholarship: Adam Lambert; Capote Fellow: Michael Hicks; Goedicke/Robinson Scholarship: Nick Bosworth; A.B. Guthrie Memorial Fund: Ryan Bell; Nettie Weber Scholarship: Caitlin Stainken; Greta Wrolstad Summer Travel Award: John Bennett; Creative Writing Scholarship: JP Kemmick; Alice Passano Hancock Davidson Scholarship: Jordan Konkol. Congratulations also to Caitlin Stainken for her Bertha Morton Scholarship through the Graduate School and her new position as the Undergraduate Research Assistant.

University of Montana celebrated its 120th "Charter Day" with a day-long schedule of events celebrating academics. At the Provost’s request, Creative Writing selected two students to present at the luncheon. Kaylen Mallard (MFA 2013) and Chelsea Elwood (undergradaute editor of The Oval) spoke eloquently of their experiences in the Creative Writing Program. At the end of their presentations they received individual recognition from President Engstrom, Provost Brown and Dean Comer.

Kerry Banazek (MFA 2011) was named a finalist in the 2013 Sawtooth Poetry Prize for her manuscript Torrents and Groundviews. Dan Beachy-Quick also selected Lauren de Paepe (MFA 2013) for her manuscript The Seeker Loves the Burden as a semifinalist for the prize.

The annual University of Montana Innovation and Imagination Conference met on April 15. Judy Blunt presented a short lecture and reading about the role of oral storytelling in both teaching and learning creative writing. Blunt's essay, "Occupying the Real West," in New Letters, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Jeff Whitney (MFA 2012) and Sheila Black (MFA 1998) both have poems in Watershed Review.

David Allan Cates' (MFA 1992) novel, Ben Armstrong's Strange Trip Home, won a Gold Medal for best fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Asta So (second year MFA) was awarded a grant from the Matthew Hansen Endowment Fund to research a nonfiction piece called, "What to Eat: The History and Evolution of Asian Cuisine in Western Montana."

Carrie Laben's (MFA 2013) short story, "A Shot of Fireball," will be published in the anthology Handsome Devil.

April Wilder (MFA 2006) has been busy since graduating. She was awarded the McCreight Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Then she became a PhD candidate in Creative Writing/Literature at The University of Utah. Now she has her first collection of stories coming out with Viking/Penguin in January 2014: This is Not an Accident. Her forthcoming novel is called I Think About You All the Time, Starting Tomorrow.

Alice Bolin's (MFA 2011) poem, "Jawbreaker," and Michael Earl Craig's (BA 1994) poem "For Marcel, My Index Finger," are both published in Bat City Review.

Molly Laich's (MFA 2011) story, "Black Dog, White Rhino," is published in Spork Press.

JP Kemmick's (first year MFA) story, "The Outer Reaches of Love," is published in BarrelHouse.

Melissa Kwasny (MFA 1999) read from Earth Recitals: Essays on Image and Vision (Lynx House Press, 2013) on Saturday, April 27, 5 p.m. at Shakespeare & Co., downtown Missoula.

Noel Thistle Tague (MFA 2012) has a lyric essay, "Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Playing Cards," in Black Warrior Review, a poem, "Housefires," upcoming in Salt Hill 31, and an essay on Erin Mouré forthcoming in translation from La Mariposa Mundial.

Candie Sanderson (first year MFA) has four flash fiction pieces upcoming in BlazeVOX. She also has two book reviews, one published in the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education, and one in Metamorphosis.

Rachel Finkelstein (first year MFA) has a review of Kate Durbin's chapbook, Kept Women, published in Lemon Hound.

Ed Skoog (MFA 1996) and J. Robert Lennon (MFA 1995) have a new issue of Lunch Box: Nuclear Truffle.

Scott Alexander Jones (2009) is moving to Lawrence, Kansas to start a PhD program in creative writing in the fall.

Greg Pape's essay, "Finding Levine" is published in Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine (Prairie Lights Books, Iowa, 2013).

English faculty member, Casey Charles, has a book of poetry recently published with Seven Kitchens Press -- Blood Work.

Elisabeth Geier's (MFA 2011) story that she read for her thesis, "It's the Mud, It's the Mud," was published in Painted Bride Quarterly, Issue 86.

Trina Burke (MFA 2008) has a new poetry chapbook, Wreck Idyll, with Dancing Girl Press.

John Myers (MFA 2010) has two poems from the Griffith sonnets coming out in the spring issue of Lungfull.

Zan Bockes (MFA 1990) read from her poetry collection, Caught in Passing, on Friday, April 26, 7 p.m. at Fact & Fiction, downtown Missoula.

Prageeta Sharma read from her new book, Undergloom, on Sunday, May 12, 4 - 6 p.m. at Shakespeare & Co. in Missoula.

John Bennett (first year MFA) has been accepted at the 2013 Frost Place Poetry Seminar. He also has four new poems in the Spring 2013 issue of The Manila Envelope.

Joshua Fomon (third year MFA) has accepted an internship with Senator Harkin in Washington DC for the summer.

Congratulations to the new MFA student genre editors for CutBank: Asta So, Brenden Oliva, Maud Streep and Candie Sanderson (fiction), Rachel Finkelstein, Kate di Nitto, Philip Schaefer and John Bennett (poetry) and Kate Nitze and Kimberly Bell (nonfiction). Rachel Mindell is the new Editor-in-Chief.

Theodore McDermott's (MFA 2011) story, "The Minor Outsider," appears in Vice.

Emma Torzs' (MFA 2012) poem, "The Comet," was featured on Verse Daily.

Jennifer Duffield White's (MFA 2012) poem, "On Confluence," appears in the Spring 2013 issue of Witness.

David Gates' story, "An Actor Prepares," is in The Paris Review.

Molly Laich (MFA 2011) was interviewed in Midwestern Gothic Issue 9.

Alice Bolin's (MFA 2011) essay, "The Methodless Method: On the Teen-age Quotation Fetish," is in The New Yorker's March 26 Page-Turner Blog.

Dana Fitz Gale (third year MFA) has a story in Arts & Letters.

Laurel Nakanishi's (MFA 2013) collection, Manoa Makai, was chosen by Kimiko Hahn as the winner of the 2012 Epiphany poetry chapbook contest.

Youna Kwak (MFA 2008) and Sarah Gridley (MFA 2000) both have poems in the Spring 2013 issue of Cerise Press.

Andrew Martin's and BJ Soloy's (second year MFA) play "Salvage" was accepted by the Ten Minute Play competition and was performed at University of Montana on April 18 & 19.

Wynne Hungerford's (undergraduate creative writer) story, See Wonderful Things, appears in the Spring 2013 issue of The South Carolina Review.

Catherine Theis (MFA 2001) was accepted into the Creative Ph.D. at USC with a Provost's Fellowship (30k stipend for 5 years, first 2 years without teaching).

Greta Wrolstad's (MFA class of 2006) posthumously published collection, Night is Simply a Shadow, is available for pre-order from Tavern Books.

Congratulations to Joanna Klink, one of the eight winners of the 2013 Award in Literature ($7,500) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Caitlin Stainken (first year MFA) has stories appearing in The Lantern (spring 2013 issue) and an anthology called Tales of the Undead (summer 2013).

Jeff Whitney (MFA 2012) has poems forthcoming in Salt Hill.

Robert Stubblefield's essay, "October," is forthcoming in Basalt.

BJ Soloy (second year MFA) has three poems forthcoming in Ghost Town: "Big Howlin' Blind Monet & His Mud-lily Wolfband," "Of Bang & Blab," and "The Coast of Old Barbary." His poem, "Tableaux Vivants," will be published in the upcoming issue of New American Writing.

Kim Zupan's (MFA 1984) novel The Ploughmen is forthcoming with Holt, spring 2014.

MFA 2012 graduates Clint Garner, Kate Rutledge Jaffe and Jeff Whitney have started Peel Press, an independent literary press dedicated to identifying and nurturing genre-bending literary work. Their first title, Ken White's poetry collection Eidolon, will be released this spring. Visit for more information.

Philip Schaefer's (first year MFA) poem "Dram" is forthcoming in Litconic. His poem "Ornithology" is going to be published this spring in 14 Hills.

John Bennett (first year MFA) has poems forthcoming in Concho River Review and The Manila Envelope.

Carrie Laben (third year MFA student) has two short stories "The Fledglings of Time" and "Bad Penny" that will appear, respectively, in the anthologies Zombies: Shambling through History and Shades of Blue and Gray: Ghosts of the Civil War, both coming in August of this year from Prime Books.

Jordan Rossen's (second year MFA) story "Dust" is forthcoming in Reed magazine.

Summer 2013

Naomi Kimbell's (MFA 2008) prose piece, "Honey Locusts," appears in Otis Nebula.

Missoula was recently named the No. 7 best college town in America for 2013 by

David Gilbert (MFA 1995) was interviewed on NPR Books July 23 about his new novel & Sons. Wynne Hungerford's (BA 2013) story, "Just Tell 'Em," is published in the McNeese Review.

Philip Schaefer (second year MFA) has two poems out with Fourteen Hills and poems forthcoming in RHINO and Toad.

Rachel Mindell's (second year MFA) poems, "The blue flame is cold late summer," "Down dear," and "Spice," are published in Caliban Online #12.

Virginia Zech's (second year MFA) story, "The Claw," is being collected in Gigantic Worlds, Gigantic Magazine's science flash fiction anthology, due out in Dec.

BJ Soloy (MFA 2013) has a poem published in New American Writing. He will read and play with his band, Dear Sister Killdeer, on Thursday, July 11, 7 pm at Shakespeare & Co. in Missoula.

Nick Bosworth's (second year MFA) poem, "Ain't No Simian," is in the current issue of Hobo Pancakes.

Alice Bolin's (MFA 2011) article, "Daring Daisy Ashford, the Greatest Ever Nine-Year-Old Novelist," is in the July 8, Arts & Culture section of The Paris Review Daily.

Khaty Xiong's (MFA 2013) poem, "Pork Rinds, Watered Rice," was a finalist for The Poet's Billows Pangaea Prize.

Jordan Rossen's (MFA 2013) story, "Dust," has been published in Reed Magazine, number 66.

Joseph Babcock's (second year MFA) "The King of Bad Air" is currently at 46 on the fiction list of Amazon's Kindle Singles. Learn more about Amazon's Kindle Singles and the editor, David Blum, in this April 22 New York Times article by Leslie Kaufman.

Brendan Fitzgerald (first year MFA) started a column at The Morning News called "Press Pause." His first piece, "Edward Snowden and Exploring Terra Incognita," discusses how to read the news.

Ed Skoog's (MFA 1996) poem "Books" was featured on Narrative.

Casey Charles, Literature Professor, read from his new novel, The Trials of Christopher Mann, and poetry collection, Blood Work, on Tuesday, June 11, at Shakespeare & Co., Missoula.

Robert Stubblefield, Lecturer, is published in the latest issue of Basalt.

Fall 2013

The Second Wind Reading Series now has its own Facebook page and Twitter account. Like and follow accordingly (Twitter:@2ndWindReadings).

Daniel Shapiro's (MFA 1980) poetry appears in the current issue of the International Literary Quarterly.

Jordan Rossen's (MFA 2013) story, "Sensory Deprivation" is forthcoming in Arcadia Magazine, his story "Personal Effects" is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review, and "The Age of Adjustments" is forthcoming in the Colorado Review.

JP Kemmick's (second year MFA) story, "Unmoored," is in the new issue of A Capella Zoo.

Caylin Capra-Thomas' (first year MFA) chapbook, The Marilyn Letters, is available through Dancing Girl Press.

BJ Soloy's (MA/MFA 2014) poem "Escutcheon Haw," has been accepted to Hayden's Ferry Review for their next issue.

Carrie Ayagaduk Ojanen (MFA 2010) has poems published in As Us Journal.

Check out a sneak preview of Sharma Shield's (MFA 2004) first chapter of her new novel, The Handsome Guest.

Joanna Klink's poem, "Given," was featured on the Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day website on September 10.

Elisabeth Geier's (MFA 2011) story, "It Happened One Night," is published in the current issue of Bright Walls/Dark Room.

Keema Waterfield's (MFA 2011) lyrical essay, "Landscaping," has been nominated for Sundress' Best of the Net Anthology 2013.

In collaboration with the Missoula Writing Collaborative, Rachel Mindell (second year MFA) produced a rap video about writing with her Hawthorne Elementary School Flagship students.

Henrietta Goodman (MFA 1994) has her second book of poetry, Hungry Moon, coming out with the Mountain West Poetry Series in November. To learn more about Henrietta, some lessons she learned in the UM MFA program, how motherhood influenced her writing, and how the title poem of her new book came to be, read this fabulous interview in CommitmentNow.

BJ Soloy (MA/MFA 2014) has two poems forthcoming in Horse Less Review, "Tarantellum" and "from the Rain on Montgomery Clift (I don't like goodbye notes)" as well as one poem in Guernica, "Staring as I Was into the Sequined Doom."

Andrew Martin (MFA 2013) has the story from his MFA thesis reading, "Cool for America," published in The Paris Review.

Lehua Taitano (MFA 2010) will have her first poetry collection, A Bell Made of Stone, published with Tin Fish Press. She also has a story coming out in the fall 2013 edition of the Yellow Medicine Review.

Jeff Whitney's (MFA 2012) poetry manuscript, Note Left Like Silver On the Eyes of the Dead, won the Slash Pine Press chapbook competition and will be available for purchase in November or December of this year.

Greta Wrolstad's (MFA class of 2006) posthumous collection Night is Simply a Shadow (2013, Tavern Books) represents the exceedingly rich, precise and wide-ranging writing of a poet who promised to be a major talent of her generation.

Nils Michals' (MFA 2000) second poetry book, Come Down to Earth, won the May Sarton New Hampshire Prize from Bauhen Publishing and was released August 2013.

Both Candie Sanderson and Philip Schaefer (second year MFA's) have pieces up on Toad.

Brett Puryear 's (first year MFA) story, "Keep That Sugar in Your Pocket," has been accepted for publication by StoryScape out of Brooklyn, NY.

Alicia Mountain's (first year MFA) poems, "I began to see" and "The most elegant way to win," are featured in the current issue of Black Mountain Institute's Witness.

Matt Byrne (MFA 1999) won the 2013 Sow's Ear Poetry Review chapbook contest with his collection, Silent Partner. He received an award of $1000; his chapbook will be published by Sow's Ear Press and distributed to subscribers in Spring 2014. Byrne’s poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Kenyon Review, Clockwise Cat, Antioch Review, Best American Poetry 2007 and elsewhere.

Jeff Gailus (first year MFA) had two books published by RMB in 2013: The Grizzly Manifesto and Little Black Lies.

Wynne Hungerford (UG) recently won the Meadowlark Award’s first-place cash prize of $1,000 for her short story submission, “Ladies Chocolate Night.” “Radio Pictures Presents Holly Fort and the Redhead Buzzards" was featured in the September issue of Pif Magazine.

Eric Bosse (MFA 2006) has a new story collection with Ravena Press, The Last Few Minutes Before the Bomb.

Naomi Kimbell (MFA 2008 & Adjunct Professor) had an essay accepted by The Rumpus.

Catherine Meng (MFA 2000) has a new poetry collection with Split Level Texts, The Longest Total Solar Eclipse of the Century.

Robert Taylor's (UG) story, "Hash Browns & Gravy," placed second in the adult fiction category of the 2013 Missoula Public Library writing contest.