News Archive: 2015

Fall 2015

Alana Trumpy (second year MFA) reviewed the UM MFA program for Niche Magazine

Diana Xin (MFA 2014) was a finalist for Narrative's 30 Below contest.

Megan Kruse (MFA 2010) was honored by the National Book Foundation as one of the "5 Under 35" up and coming authors of 2015. 

Governor Bullock selected Michael Earl Craig (BA 1994) as the next Montana Poet Laureate. Craig, who works as both a poet and farrier in Livingston, MT, has published four collections of poetry. Talkativeness (2014, Wave Books) is his most recent.

Brooke Glass-O’Shea’s (second year MFA) flash fiction story, "We Break Up in Multiple Universes," was nominated by Jersey Devil Press for a Pushcart Prize. 

Ryan Bell (MFA 2014) travelled to Russia and Kazakhstan on a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. He is conducting a 9-month, international research project, studying the emergent cattle ranching industries in these countries. Follow him on Facebook at Comrade Cowboys.

Kim Todd’s (MFA 1998) essay, “Curious,” from “River Teeth” is featured in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015, edited by Rebecca Skloot.

Eve Kenneally’s (second year MFA) chapbook, something else entirely, will be published with Dancing Girl Press. Kenneally’s poem [in another version] is forthcoming from decomP. She also has poems forthcoming in Sugared Water, Blue Monday Review, Madcap Review, Profane, and Rivet.

William Albert Allard (faculty affiliate) has spent 30 years photographing Paris. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015, he reflects on the spirit of a city close to his heart for National Geographic.

Beth Hunter McHugh (MFA 2009) won the 2015 Meadowlark Award for her first book The Actor

Alida Dean (second year MFA) is the winner of the 2015 Arcadia Nonfiction contest ($1000 and publication) for her essay "Backstory." 

S.M. Hulse's (BA 2006) debut novel Black River was selected by The Seattle Times as a Best Book of 2015.

Stephanie Land's (BA 2014) "The Three Car Crashes That Changed My Life" was published on Narratively. An interview with Land was on Australia’s version of “All Things Considered.” 

Jeanie Riess (first year MFA) was a guest speaker at the Fairhope Film Festival in Alabama. She presented on the documentary “Western,” directed by Turner and Bill Ross.

Philip Schaefer’s (MFA 2014) and Jeff Whitney’s (MFA 2012) Radio Silence with Black Lawrence Press is available for order

Hannah Withers interviewed Val Brelinski for The Believer Logger. She also has a story forthcoming in The Santa Clara Review.

Robert Wrigley’s (MFA 1976) poem,“Elk,” was featured on Poetry Daily

Ari Laurel’s (second year MFA) short short "Ghosts" was one of 8 finalists for The Conium Review Flash Fiction Contest and is forthcoming on their online compendium, as well as in Yellow Chair Review's pop culture issue.  

Courtney Bird (MFA 2015) won the Fairy Tale Review contest ($1000). 

Khaty Xiong's (MFA 2013) Poor Anima was one of the top 10 poetry bestsellers on SPD for September.

Jeremy Smith’s (MFA 2005) “Epic Measures” was reviewed by Bill Gates

Visiting Hugo Poet Thomas Sayers Ellis' poem "Vernacular Owl," Sandra Simonds' (MFA 2003) poem "Similitude at Versailles" and Ed Skoog's (MFA 1996) poem "The Macrena" were all selected for Best American Poetry of 2015, edited by Sherman Alexie.

Emma Torzs (MFA 2012) has a story in The O. Henry Prize 2015 anthology.

Oregon born American poet Madeline DeFrees died in Portland at the age of 96. She was known as Sister Mary Gilbert for 38 years. In 1967 she left the convent, resumed her given name and began teaching at the University of Montana where she stayed until 1979. In 2010 DeFrees donated her entire poetry library (1123 volumes) to the Maureen & Mike Mansfield Library where they are housed in the Poetry Corner.

Caylin Capra-Thomas’ (MFA 2015) poems "Maze" and "Actually, I'm Going to Keep It All" will be in the next issue of Puerto del Sol. Her poems "G-Spot vs. Moon Landing" and "Fretted Note" will be in an upcoming issue of Whiskey Island.

Larry Kleeman (MFA 1996) won the Blue Mason Poetry Prize.

Annapurna Magazine selected Ryan Lee’s (BA 2014) poem, "Around the House," for their yearly print anthology, Clarify

Brandon Henderson (MFA 2010) has pre-launched @PeekoPress - a new children's book publishing company. Follow the company on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook where regular updates on books, competitions, readings, author signings, reviews, author submissions and more will be posted. Peeko Press will officially launch in May 2016 at Book Expo America in Chicago. Contact:

Laurel Nakanishi’s (MFA 2012) poem “Nanue” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Black Warrior Review.

Alicia Bones (second year MFA) published a story in Maudlin House

When the Creative Writing Program gave Rick DeMarinis (MA 1967) his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Montana Book Festival, Bill Kittredge read from a piece Rick had written about being in Richard Hugo’s workshop

Alex Alviar's (MFA 2004) "The Worst Asian Ever" on Tell Us Something.

Billy Wallace’s (second year MFA) story, Ghostland Blues, has been accepted by Rappahannock Review. Look for it in the December issue. 

Virginia Zech (MFA 2014) has been published in Gigantic Worlds, an anthology of science flash fiction, featuring 51 stories from 51 authors that will transport you to other worlds. 

Zoey Farber (MFA 2012) has been chosen as a contributor for Creative Nonfiction's Writing Pittsburgh book project. Her essay will be published in their first book about Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, to be released by In Fact Books in 2017.   Also, Craig Barnes (MFA 2011) and Zoey got married this summer. They eloped to Rainy Lake in July.

Andrew Martin's (MFA 2013) article, "A New Design Shop That aims to Elevate the Smoke-Filled Room," is in The New York Times Style Magazine

Andy Smetanka (MFA 2007) has a kickstarter campaign to help fund his new movie project about Missoula, "A Place Sort of."

Jolene Brink’s (second year MFA) chapbook Peregrine is available for sale through Red Bird.

David Gates’ interview of Tom Piazza is in the Los Angeles Review of Books

Laura Lampton Scott's (MFA 2012) story, "What We Were Doing,” was published Tin House blog and The Guardian, her essay “The Person Next to You on the Plane,” was published in Okey-Panky, and her story, “Come Down Off the Mountain,” was published in the Michigan Quarterly Review.

Adam Lambert (MFA 2015) recently accepted a job writing for an ad agency in Greensboro, NC. He has two poems--Words I Wish We Had  and  Arbeit Macht Frei -- in the new issue of The Louisville Review alongside Sierra Jacob (second year MFA).

Dan Brooks (MFA 2006) has a piece in The New York Times, “Banksy and the Problem with Sarcastic Art” 

Elisabeth Geier (MFA 2011) has a piece in Bright Wall/Dark Room, “Girls Like Us.” 

John Myers (MFA 2010) has a piece forthcoming in FENCE's next issue, called "I Read Your Manuscript," and work forthcoming in Denver Quarterly and Forklift, Ohio.

Summer 2015

T.C. Boyle selected one of Kevin Canty's stories for The Best American Short Stories 2015

Adam Lambert (MFA 2015) had "Poem to that great big Boss in the sky" accepted by a moon anthology, due out next year by Two of Cups Press. The Louisville Review will publish two of his poems: "Words I wish we had" and " Arbeit Macht Frei".

Diana Xin (MFA 2014) has a story in the summer issue of Gulf Coast.

A number of MFA alumni will be teaching at the Beargrass Writing Retreat, Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, at the E Bar L Ranch. Chris Dombrowski (MFA 2001), Director of the 406 Writer's Workshop, is organizing the retreat and teaching along with David James Duncan, Jeremy N. Smith (MFA 2005), Melissa Mylchreest (MFA 2012), Robert Stubblefield (MFA 1994), M.L. Smoker (MFA 2003), Jack Driscoll, Debra Magpie Earling, Keetje Kuipers, Jeffrey Foucault, Malcom Brooks and Alexandra Fuller.

Kelly Kathleen Ferguson (MFA 2008) was hired as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at Southern Utah University.

Brendan Fitzgerald (MFA 2015) has a piece in the Columbia Journalism Review about how reporters cover rape - it includes an interview with Jon Krakauer who discusses his new book, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.

Laura Lampton Scott's (MFA 2012) essay, “Why We Still Need Richard Hugo’s Defense of Creative Writing Classes,” was published in Electric Literature and “You’re the Clerk,” was published in No Tokens Journal Spring/Summer 2015.

Beth McHugh (MFA 2009) won the 2015 Meadowlark Award for her first book, The Actor.

JP Kemmick (MFA 2015) read from his Merriam-Frontier winning chapbook, Space City, USA, at Shakespeare & Co. 

Robby Nadler (MFA 2011) read from his first book, Jesse Garon Writes a Love Letter, at Shakespeare & Co. Nadler wrote this collection of poetry and prose during his Fulbright year in Israel. 

Stephanie Land (BA 2014) has a piece in Vox about cleaning houses that catapulted her into instant fame. 

Judy Blunt reviewed some recent memoirs for The New York Times  (July 15, 2015). 

Kevin Canty sold The Underworld to Jill Bialosky at Norton. The novel was acquired at auction from Denise Shannon at the Denise Shannon Literary Agency. 

Sierra Jacob (second year MFA) has poems forthcoming in The Louisville Review, Yemassee, Sonora Review, and Canary.

Excellent reviews of David Gates’ book, A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me, can be found in the London Review of BooksFinancial TimesThe New Yorkerand the New York Times 

Robert Stubblefield’s story, “Easy as Not,” was published in the Talking River Review. Wynn Hungerford (BA 2014) also has a story in this issue. She’s an MFA student at University of Florida, teaching composition.

Khaty Xiong’s (MFA 2013) poetry collection, Poor Anima, was just released by Apogee Press. She also has poems appearing in The Wide Shore (November 2015) and Waxwing (February 2016). 

Megan Kruse (MFA 2010) has joined the faculty at Eastern Oregon University’s Low Residency MFA Program as the 2015–16 Visiting Writer-in-Residence.

Kelly Kathleen Ferguson (MFA 2008) is an Assistant Professor at Southern Utah University.

Rachel Toor’s (MFA 2006) YA novel, On the Road to Find Out, was selected for an award by the Junior Library Guild.

Mandy Smoker Broaddus (MFA 2003) was named Educator of the Year from the National Indian Education Association.

Nils Michals (MFA 2000) and Rachel Finkelstein (MFA 2014) published new work in Small Po[r]tions.

Aaron Shulman (MFA 2009) interviewed Robert Coover for the summer issue of The Believer

Ari Laurel (second year MFA) had work accepted to the Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture Festival in California (Oct. 2 – 5). Congrats also to Ari for her new job as Communications Coordinator at the YWCA.

Julie Rouse (MFA 2014) has poems up in the new Arsenic Lobster

Caylin Capra-Thomas (MFA 2015) had her poem, “Passage,” featured on Verse Daily

Philip Schaefer’s (MFA 2014) chapbook [Hideous] Miraculous came out with BOAAT Press and is available to read for free as a PDF. There's also a limited print run available in which you can choose your own book cover design. Their covers are all made from found materials like glass, seaweed, shredded money, and balsa wood. Prices range, but the books are an art form themselves. 

Natalie Peeterse (MFA 2002) had a baby girl, Magdalena Denise May, or “Maggie.”

BJ Soloy (MFA/MA 2014) has poems coming out in VERSE, Forklift, Ohio; DIAGRAM; and Tenderloin.

Riley Gillan (second year MFA) has poems forthcoming in Habitat and Larken. His piece of creative nonfiction, "Amethyst," was recently accepted by Laurel MagazineHe was invited to the Arrowmont School of Arts Pentaculum (January 2-9. Gatlingburg, TN) as Writer-In-Residence. For the first time in Arrowmont's history, working artists across various mediums will be joined in the wilderness by 10 writers, to "cross-pollinate." Riley received full-funding as the Pentaculum Scholar.

Jolene Brink (second year MFA) has poems forthcoming in Carolina Quarterly and 5x5.

Allison Linville (MFA 2015) has poems accepted to Ghost Town and Tahoma Literary Review, and she will be the new Poetry Editor for the Whitefish Review

Rachel Richardson (second year MFA) has two poems coming out in Gone Lawn, issue 19, "How to be loved" and "You are your house." 

Ryan Bell (MFA 2014) heads to Russia on his Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship. He’s already been blogging for National Geographic's food blog, The Plate. His Russia blog will kick off when he lands, September 10. People can learn more by visiting one of these:

Spring 2015

Joanna Klink's latest poetry collection, Excerpts from a Secret Prophecy (Penguin), is described by Publisher's Weekly as “a passionate but controlled lyric meditation on time, intimacy, memory, and the increasingly imperiled natural world."

Philip Schaefer (MFA 2014) and Jeff Whitney (MFA 2012) won the Black Lawrence Press Black River Chapbook contest with their co-authored manuscript, Radio Silence, which will be published in 2016.

The University of Montana conference on race and creative writing, Thinking Its Presence: The Racial Imaginary, with keynote speaker Claudia Rankine, is featured in John Keene's blog.

Chris Benz' (second year MFA) essay, "Our Part-Time Labor Problem," is published in The Rumpus.

Adam Lambert's (second year MFA) poem, "Miscarriage," is in the latest issue of Still.

Caylin Capra-Thomas (second year MFA) will have her chapbook, Inside Electric City, published by YesYes Books. She has also has had two poems,“[A name is an offering.  I call you:]” and “[You descend upon the motherless]” accepted for the July issue of Phantom Limb, and one poem called "Turning" accepted for publication in Blue Earth Review.

David Gates' novella and collection of short stories, A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me, was released by Knopf.

Carrie Laben's (MFA 2013) essay, "How to Handle a Snapping Turtle," is in the May issue of About Place Journal.

Julie Rouse (MFA 2014) has two poems in decomP

Melissa Leavitt (MFA 2011) is a science writer for a nonprofit in Portland. Her essay, “Fountains of Sorrow,” is published in the latest issue of Maura Magazine.

Alicia Mountain's (second year MFA) poem, "A Deer Mistaken for a Statue of a Deer," was selected for publication by Pleiades.

Brooke Glass-O’Shea (first year MFA) has a piece of flash fiction in the new (March) issue of Jersey Devil Press.

Diana Spechler (MFA 2003) has writen a number of articles about treating her anxiety while reducing her medications in a series titled "Going Off" in the Opinion Pages of The New York Times. Some of the articles include "Reducing My Dose, Unblocking My Muse," "This is My Brain on PMS," "7 Thoughts for a Chronically Unhappy Person," "Tinder While I Taper," "Other People's Happiness," "Failure to Thrive," "May (or May Not) Cause Weight Gain," "Fear and Withdrawal," "Breaking Up With My Meds," and "Drugs, Sweat and Fear."

Debra Magpie Earling is the recipient of a 2015 Montana Governor's Arts Award. In her nomination letter, Caroline Patterson said Earling's books "reveal the darkness, complexity, music, and tragedy experienced by Salish women."

Courtney Bird's (MFA 2015) story, "The Tenshi Project," was recently selected by Kevin Brockmeier for inclusion in The Masters Review Anthology.

Stephanie Pushaw's (incoming MFA fiction) winning essay, "Crickets: A Love Song in Six Parts," is in DIAGRAM 5.2. Pushaw claims to have been responding to the prompt, "Write something about crickets that doesn't suck." She is the Assistant Editor of The Believer Logger.

Winter 2015

David Gates’ story, “A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me,” from Granta was selected by Jennifer Egan for The Best American Short Stories of 2014

Andrew Martin's (MFA 2013) story "Cool for America," published in the Paris Review, and Kevin Canty's "Mayfly," published in The New Yorker, were both selected as Notable Stories by the editors of The Best American Short Stories of 2014.

Craig Barnes (MFA 2011) was interviewed by Nate Brown in American Short Fiction.

Caitlin MacDougall (second year MFA) interned at Elle Magazine.

Caylin Capra-Thomas' (second year MFA) poem, "Say Uncle," published in Yemassee, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poem, "The Mine Fire SPeaks," published in The Boiler, was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

J. Robert Lennon's (MFA 1995) story, "Breadman," was published in the Jan. 19 issue of The New Yorker.

Entertainment Weekly identified Sharma Shields (MFA 2004) as "one of the 25 stars on the rise in 2015" for her novel The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac. The book has gotten great reviews. Kirkus: "Imagine a mashup of Moby-Dick and Kafka's Metamorphosis (with a hearty dash of Twin Peaks thrown in)."

Khaty Xiong's (MFA 2013) Deer Hour was published by New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM. Xiong has another book of poetry coming out with Apogee in 2015.