Kittredge Lifetime Achievement Award

Bill Kittredge

As part of the Montana Book Festival, UM Creative Writing Program celebrates the lifetime achievements of Professor Emeritus William “Bill” Kittredge on Saturday, September 30, 1:30 pm at the Downtown Dance Collective. Bill taught in the program for 30 years and has a visiting writer position named after him. He is the author of two collections of short fiction, a novel, a memoir, and three collections of essays. He has received a Stegner Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, the Los Angeles Times Award for Lifetime Achievement, the National Humanities Award (presented by Bill Clinton in the Rose Garden in 1994), Montana Governor’s Award for the Arts, Montana Governor’s Award for the Humanities, and numerous other awards. He was co-editor with Annick Smith of The Last Best Place: A Montana Anthology and co-producer of A River Runs Through It. He has published essays and articles in over 50 magazines, including Atlantic, Harper's, Esquire, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Karin Schalm, the Creative Writing Program Coordinator, is making a short film about Bill Kittredge’s life. She says, “Bill would like to be remembered most for his teaching. He taught so many successful writers at UM over the years – Jon Jackson, Pete Fromm, Kim Barnes, Judy Blunt, Andrew Sean Greer… the list goes on and on. We are delighted to be celebrating Bill and all of his achievements at the Montana Book Festival.”

The panel participants will discuss their literary and personal histories with Bill. Robert Stubblefield shares Eastern Oregon roots and has developed a lifelong friendship with Bill. Debra Earling, Director of Creative Writing, was the youngest writer to be selected for "The Last Best Place Anthology" and will discuss, along with Deirdre McNamer and Kim Zupan, Bill’s literary importance to writers of the West. Shawn McDermott, one of Bill’s last students who studied with him when he served as the “Distinguished Kittredge Visiting Writer” in 2012, will discuss Bill’s tremendous talents as a teacher and mentor.

For more information, contact Karin at (406) 243-5267 or