Christian Winn, a 2003 graduate of Boise State’s MFA program in creative writing, has become both an unofficial and official Idaho ambassador of the literary arts since he left campus nearly two decades ago.
Winn was one of the founding members of Storyfort, the literary branch of the Treefort music festival. In the six years it’s been around, Storyfort has grown from a dozen or so events in a downtown Boise storefront to more than 50 events this year, including appearances by national literary luminaries and a full cast of talented local writers.
“We bring voices to the festival that might not get celebrated at a music festival,” said Winn. That includes slam poets, civil rights lawyers, refugees and bartenders.
Outside of Storyfort, Winn has put in his time as a poet, a journalist and a fiction writer. He is the author of two short story collections, “Naked Me” and “What’s Wrong With You is What’s Wrong With Me.” He has written a new collection of short stories, as well as a novel he’s preparing to send to his agent as soon as Storyfort wraps up. Winn also has a new novel in the works.
The Idaho Commission on the Arts (ICA) has recognized Winn’s talents, naming him Idaho Writer in Residence, a three-year appointment whose mission is bringing literature and the arts to underserved communities. Winn, who has deep family roots in Idaho, has traveled the state through the ICA program organizing lit-centric events. He also has taught writing at Boise State and at The Cabin, Boise’s local literary nonprofit. Winn’s community work includes producing the Campfire Stories readings series at The Modern Hotel and Bar and the Couch Surfer Series with Radio Boise.
Working to make Boise and Idaho into literary territory, “has snowballed in a way that’s been great,” Winn said. “I’m always working on new stuff. I’m kind of like a shark. I have to keep moving.”