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MFA Faculty and Staff

MFA Faculty

  • Mitch Wieland

    Director of Creative Writing MFA-Permanent Faculty

    Mitch Wieland is the author of the novels Willy Slater’s Lane and God’s DogsWilly Slater’s Lane received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, and was optioned for a film. Named Idaho Book of the Year, God’s Dogs was featured in the annual Best of the West prize anthology, and was a top finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Award. Wieland’s short stories have appeared in The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, TriQuarterly, The Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, among other publications. Wieland is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, a Boise State University Arts and Humanities Fellowship, and two Literature Fellowships from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. He is currently finishing a novel set in Japan in the aftermath of Fukushima.

    A co-founder of the MFA program at Boise State University, Wieland was its director for ten years. Currently in his twenty-fifth year at Boise State, he serves as the founding editor of the award-winning Idaho Review, and teaches MFA and BFA classes in fiction writing and publishing/editing.

    Theatre, Film and Creative Writing

    Mitch Wieland is the author of the novels Willy Slater’s Lane and God’s DogsWilly Slater’s Lane received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist, and was optioned for a film. Named Idaho Book of the Year, God’s Dogs was featured in the annual Best of the West prize anthology, and was a top finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Award. Wieland’s short stories have appeared in The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, TriQuarterly, The Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, among other publications. Wieland is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, a Boise State University Arts and Humanities Fellowship, and two Literature Fellowships from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. He is currently finishing a novel set in Japan in the aftermath of Fukushima.

    A co-founder of the MFA program at Boise State University, Wieland was its director for ten years. Currently in his twenty-fifth year at Boise State, he serves as the founding editor of the award-winning Idaho Review, and teaches MFA and BFA classes in fiction writing and publishing/editing.

  • Sara Nicholson

    Permanent Faculty

    Sara Nicholson is the author of two books of poetry, What the Lyric Is and The Living Method, both from The Song Cave. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Harper’s, Poetry, the New York Times, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. In 2018, she was the Holloway Poet-in-Residence at the University of California, Berkeley. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.

    Theatre, Film and Creative Writing

    Sara Nicholson is the author of two books of poetry, What the Lyric Is and The Living Method, both from The Song Cave. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Harper’s, Poetry, the New York Times, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. In 2018, she was the Holloway Poet-in-Residence at the University of California, Berkeley. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.

  • Anna Caritj

    Permanent Faculty

    Anna Caritj is the author of Leda and the Swan (Riverhead, 2021). She holds a BA from the University of Virginia, where she studied English and Spanish literature, and an MFA from Hollins University. She was raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where much of her work takes place, though she has lived, most recently, in Florida, California, New Mexico, and Texas. She is currently at work on a second novel.

    Theatre, Film and Creative Writing

    Anna Caritj is the author of Leda and the Swan (Riverhead, 2021). She holds a BA from the University of Virginia, where she studied English and Spanish literature, and an MFA from Hollins University. She was raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where much of her work takes place, though she has lived, most recently, in Florida, California, New Mexico, and Texas. She is currently at work on a second novel.

  • Taryn Schwilling

    Lecturer in Poetry

    Taryn Schwilling is the author of The Anatomist (YesYes Books, 2015). She received a PhD from the University of Denver and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the recipient of a Fulbright grant and has lived and taught in Cambodia and Iraq.

    Theatre, Film and Creative Writing

    Taryn Schwilling is the author of The Anatomist (YesYes Books, 2015). She received a PhD from the University of Denver and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the recipient of a Fulbright grant and has lived and taught in Cambodia and Iraq.

  • Brady Udall

    Permanent Faculty

    A recipient of many awards and fellowships, Udall received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His widely anthologized stories and non-fiction have been published in journals and magazines such as Story, Esquire, GQ and The Paris Review. He is the author of a short story collection, Letting Loose the Hounds, and two novels, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, which was an international bestseller and translated into more than twenty languages, and The Lonely Polygamist, which was a New York Times bestseller.

    Theatre, Film and Creative Writing

    A recipient of many awards and fellowships, Udall received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His widely anthologized stories and non-fiction have been published in journals and magazines such as Story, Esquire, GQ and The Paris Review. He is the author of a short story collection, Letting Loose the Hounds, and two novels, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, which was an international bestseller and translated into more than twenty languages, and The Lonely Polygamist, which was a New York Times bestseller.

  • Martin Corless- Smith

    Creative Writing MFA-Permanent Faculty

    Martin Corless-Smith was born and raised in Worcestershire, England. His degrees include a BA and an MFA in painting and printmaking, an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Utah. His seventh collection of poetry, The Fool & The Bee was a best-seller at SPD. Odious Horizons: Some versions of Horace came out in September 2019.  A collection of essays, The Poet’s Tomb is forthcoming 2020 from Parlor Press. He edits the Free Poetry chapbook series.

    Theatre, Film and Creative Writing

    Martin Corless-Smith was born and raised in Worcestershire, England. His degrees include a BA and an MFA in painting and printmaking, an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Utah. His seventh collection of poetry, The Fool & The Bee was a best-seller at SPD. Odious Horizons: Some versions of Horace came out in September 2019.  A collection of essays, The Poet’s Tomb is forthcoming 2020 from Parlor Press. He edits the Free Poetry chapbook series.

  • Ridley Pearson

    Professor of the practice

    Edgar-nominee, Ridley Pearson is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of (more than 50) award-winning suspense and young adult adventure novels. His novels have been published in two-dozen languages and have been adapted for network television and the Broadway stage. Ridley’s crime novels have earned a reputation for writing fiction that “grips the imagination.”

    Ridley’s middle-grade-reader series include, The Kingdom Keepers, Steel Trapp and Lock & Key. The Peter and the Starcatchers series, co-written with Pulitzer Prize winner (and bandmate), Dave Barry, (adapted to the stage by Rick Elice) was awarded 5 Tony Awards.

    Ridley’s research has spanned the globe and has included, a prison for the criminally insane in the U.K., exploring the engine room of a cruise liner, and multiple after-hour tours of Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

    Currently, Ridley is writing a new series—The Kingdom Kids—for Disney Books and a trilogy of graphic novels—The Super Sons—for DC Comics.

    Ridley plays bass guitar in an all-author rock band comprised of other bestselling writers (Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Mitch Album, Scott Turow, Greg Iles, and occasionally, Stephen King). The Rockbottom Remainders, has raised over 2.5 million dollars for various non-profits. With three college-aged children, he lives–and writes–in the Northern Rockies with his wife, Marcelle.

    Theatre, Film and Creative Writing

    Edgar-nominee, Ridley Pearson is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of (more than 50) award-winning suspense and young adult adventure novels. His novels have been published in two-dozen languages and have been adapted for network television and the Broadway stage. Ridley’s crime novels have earned a reputation for writing fiction that “grips the imagination.”

    Ridley’s middle-grade-reader series include, The Kingdom Keepers, Steel Trapp and Lock & Key. The Peter and the Starcatchers series, co-written with Pulitzer Prize winner (and bandmate), Dave Barry, (adapted to the stage by Rick Elice) was awarded 5 Tony Awards.

    Ridley’s research has spanned the globe and has included, a prison for the criminally insane in the U.K., exploring the engine room of a cruise liner, and multiple after-hour tours of Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

    Currently, Ridley is writing a new series—The Kingdom Kids—for Disney Books and a trilogy of graphic novels—The Super Sons—for DC Comics.

    Ridley plays bass guitar in an all-author rock band comprised of other bestselling writers (Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Mitch Album, Scott Turow, Greg Iles, and occasionally, Stephen King). The Rockbottom Remainders, has raised over 2.5 million dollars for various non-profits. With three college-aged children, he lives–and writes–in the Northern Rockies with his wife, Marcelle.

  • Mary Pauline Lowry

    Mary Lowry

    Lecturer in Fiction

    Mary Pauline Lowry received her MFA from Boise State University. Her novel THE ROXY LETTERS, which she wrote while at BSU, was published by Simon & Schuster in April 2020. She is the author of the novel WILDFIRE and is a regular contributor to O Magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, The Millions, and other publications.

    Theatre, Film and Creative Writing

    Mary Pauline Lowry received her MFA from Boise State University. Her novel THE ROXY LETTERS, which she wrote while at BSU, was published by Simon & Schuster in April 2020. She is the author of the novel WILDFIRE and is a regular contributor to O Magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, The Millions, and other publications.

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