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Current MFA Students

First Year Students

Christofer Arbudzinski

Christofer Arbudzinski is a 2020 Pomona College graduate and Dole Kinney Prize recipient. His poems have been said to possess “a searing sense of the line.” His style has been described by its aversion to “[calling] a spade a spade.” His presence in one undergraduate workshop led to the coining of an affectionate phrase: the “Chris Nod,” which involves a satisfied closed-mouth half-smile (pictured) and a slow head motion (not). Christofer has gone by “Chris” all his life while readily admitting that “Christofer” fits better for a fantastical setting or grand occasion.


Kelsey Hennegen

Kelsey Hennegen believes her best hope for grappling with what it is to be human lies in her work as a poet. Her poetry traverses memory and grief, vulnerability and violence, intimacy, and defiant redemption. She holds MAs in Liberal Arts and Eastern Classics from St. John’s College and attends Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English. As a resident artist with the Historic Santa Fe Foundation (2020-21), Kelsey created a month-long poetry exhibit for the foundation’s El Zaguan gallery and published a chapbook titled “To Keep the Name Daughter.”


Hannah Lucille Phillips

Hannah Lucille Phillips is a fiction writer from the Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania. She holds a BA in creative writing and English education from Susquehanna University. Her work, which often takes the form of short stories and screenplays, tends to focus on women, frequently queer women, and the ways in which they navigate intimacy and emotional distance. Hannah is currently writing a novel-in-stories.


Daisy Clar Rosenstock

Daisy Clar Rosenstock is a first-year poetry student. Her work explores the very spirit of writing and she is specifically interested in when said spirit shifts from one place to another and whether or not this is abandonment or simply a higher plane of movement. When not writing, Daisy can be found daydreaming about abandoned houses or chatting with the local dying pine tree.


Zachary Small

Zachary Small is a fiction student and great fan of everything from George Saunders’ writing about foxes to Octavia Butler’s aliens. Stories about people are okay, too. He grew up in Southern California but spent most of his adult life in the Midwest. He believes consequential appreciation can be found in seemingly inconsequential things: like biking when it’s snowing, swimming when it’s sunny, skateboards, dogs, and jalapeño chips.


Ayotola Tehingbola

Ayotola Tehingbola (’93, Nigeria, Yorùbá) is obsessive about the articulation of trauma in her women-centered stories. She experiments with narrative forms and techniques. Lawyer, photographer, designer — she has worn many hats in her short lifetime. You can find her rambling at


Second Year Students

Hillary Colton

Hillary Ann Colton lives in Idaho with her partner, two children, and her beloved dog.




Desmond Everest Fuller

Desmond Everest Fuller grew up in rural Washington state along the Columbia River Gorge scenic area and has otherwise lived in Oregon, Chile and Spain. He holds a BA in Spanish and English with a minor in Creative Writing from Portland State University. Much of his fiction is an exploration of place in rural and small-town spaces. He has recorded two albums as a guitarist and singer in the Portland-based rock band, Naked Luck.

Hope Kelham

Hope Kelham (b. 1996, Indiana) is a visual artist and second-year poetry student at Boise State University. She holds a BA in Photography & Related Media, a BA in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, and a BA in Creative Writing from Purdue University. Her poetics focus on the intersections between violence against women’s and queer bodies and the oppression of all genders. Her work often critiques dynamics of power, capitalism, and interpersonal relationships – pointing towards vast injustices within social systems. Hope is bewildered by an anti-human landscape, swamp scenery, gravity, surrealism, and emotion too momentous for the constraints of realism.

Natalie Stein

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Natalie Stein is a first-year poetry student. She writes about horse girls, the revolutionary power of unpaved roads, spells, and samizdat. Natalie channels the languages we make for ourselves when people want us to be quiet.


Third Year Students

Mahrukh Aamir

Image of Mahrukh sitting on wicker chair

Mahrukh Aamir is a second-year fiction student. Here are some basics: she is from Lahore, Pakistan. So far she’s written about the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She’s a disliker of small talk and saying things one doesn’t mean. And a liker of lots of things, but right now nothing is coming to mind except for American grocery stores. She might even write about them one of these days.

Natanya Biskar

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Natanya Biskar is a third-year fiction student and San Francisco native. She currently serves as Associate Editor for The Idaho Review. Before she entered graduate school, she was an elementary school teacher for over ten years, which taught her a lot about feelings and puppetry. Her work has appeared in Subtropics.


Meredith Higgins

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Meredith Higgins is a second-year poetry student. Meredith Higgins seeks internal spaciousness and speaks generously to the many neglected parts of herself that desire attention. She is interested in the capacities of language to shape belief and affect how we are able to live in this world that is teeming with both crisis and possibility. While she is alive, Meredith intends to help herself and others bear and transform our individual and collective suffering, and while she is dead (which is most of the time), she hopes to sing-think I am and simply. Meredith decomposes.

Lilly Jenner

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Lilly Jenner is a second-year Poetry student. Lilly does what? She creates poetry in nefariously multitudinous forms, such as: textile, metal, and film. To borrow from Luce Irigaray’s preface in The Way of Love, Lilly cares “to prepare a place of proximity: with the other in ourselves and between us […] a relation which favors the act of speech in the present, and not a language already existing.” Lilly has authored four poetry books, all hand-crafted, self-printed/published/distributed: Oranged (2018); that’s heaven over there (2018); Or, I Could Roll Myself into A Ball and Never Come Out for Anything Ever (2017); There Are So Many Ways to Die (2017). Her most recent, ostensibly fifth poetic text, In Another Language (2019), was her undergraduate thesis. A monograph (a collaged self) on translation performance,practice, and theatrical projection, this book was and is presented as a dance.

Kathleen Olp

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Kathleen Olp is a second-year fiction student.  She comes to Boise from Chicago, IL.  She previously worked as a middle school literature teacher sharing her love of stories and writing.  Her interests include surrealist and satirical fiction.  She looks forward to begin work on a novel and continue a short story collection.


Shriram Sivaramakrishnan

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Shriram Sivaramakrishnan is a second-year poetry student. Shriram is a proud alumnus of Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, UK. His debut pamphlet, Let the Light In, was published by Ghost City Press in June 2018. He started his career as a software engineer, coding in computer language. Then he switched to the real one.


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