Skip to main content

Creative Writing Faculty and Staff


Martin Corless-Smith, Professor, was born and raised in Worcestershire, England. He has a BA (HONS) in Fine Arts (Painting) from the University of Reading (UK), an MFA in painting/printmaking from SMU, an MFA in Creative Writing (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 will be published in 2019. A chapbook is forthcoming in 2018 from The Song Cave. He regularly publishes essays and reviews. Teaching interests include contemporary poetry and poetics, Romantic poetry and aesthetics, 17th Century poetry, Middle English religious and anonymous lyrics, and 19th and 20th century British and American poetry. He edits the Free Poetry chapbook series.

Mitch Wieland, Professor, is the author of the novels Willy Slater’s Lane and God’s Dogs. Willy 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 22nd 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.

Brady Udall, Professor, is 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.

Emily Ruskovich, Assistant Professor, is the author of L.A. Times bestselling novel Idaho, which won a Pacific Northwest Book Award was recently a shortlisted finalist for both the Edgar Allen Poe Award and the Dylan Thomas International Prize. Idaho has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. Emily’s short fiction has appeared in Zoetrope, One Story, and The Virginia Quarterly Review, and her non-fiction, articles, and reviews have appeared in The Paris Review, LitHub, The New York Times, and The Guardian. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, a recipient of a University of Wisconsin fiction fellowship, and a 2015 winner of the O. Henry Prize for short fiction. An Idaho native, she now lives in Idaho City and teaches both in the undergraduate and graduate programs in fiction.

Kerri Webster, Visiting Assistant Professor, is the author of three books of poetry: The Trailhead (Wesleyan, 2018); Grand & Arsenal (Iowa, 2012); and We Do Not Eat Our Hearts Alone (Georgia, 2005). She received her MFA from Indiana University. From 2006 to 2010, Webster was Writer in Residence at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the recipient of a Whiting Award and the Lucille Medwick Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Adjunct Faculty

Elizabeth Gutting, Program Coordinator, grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her BA from Kenyon College and her MFA from George Mason University. Before joining the MFA program at Boise State, she lived in Washington, DC, where she served as the program director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Millions, among others. She was a Fulbright Fellow in South Korea and received a fiction fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 2016.

Natalie Disney was raised in Wisconsin, and taught English to refugee families in Colorado before making her way to Idaho. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Boise State University, where she studied with Denis Johnson and Joy Williams and served as Associate Editor of The Idaho Review. Her writing has been published in The Florida Review, and is nominated for the PEN America Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. She is a recipient of the 2017 Glenn Balch Award for fiction. She lives with her wife in the Boise foothills and is at work on her first novel.

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.

Nicole Cullen was raised in Salmon, Idaho, and earned an MFA in Writing from the University of Texas-Austin. She has received creative writing fellowships from the Michener Center for Writers, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Stanford University, where she was a Stegner Fellow. Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, the Dublin Review, the Idaho Review, and The Best American Short Stories 2014. She’s currently at work on a novel-in-stories set in Idaho and Montana.

Katie Fuller is a poet and teacher from Maine. She holds degrees from Colby College (BA), the University of Maine (MA in Literature), and Boise State University (MFA in Creative Writing). She is the author of the chapbooks Valve (DoubleCross Press) and The Greenwood Cemetery (dancing girl press). Katie previously directed Writers in the Schools through The Cabin literary center in Boise, sending creative writers into local schools and detention centers.

Tim Griffith was raised in coastal New England. He has a BA from the University of Oregon and an MFA from Boise State University. His stories have appeared in Tin House and The Gettysburg Review.

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens, including the UNEARTHLY trilogy, the contemporary novel THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, and the new historical comedy, MY LADY JANE. Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in fiction writing. She and her family divide their time between Idaho and California, where she teaches creative writing and literature at Pepperdine University.


Kim Wilcox, Administrative Assistant II, is a long-time Boise resident.  She is a Boise State Alumni having graduated in 2016 with a  BA in Theatre Arts, emphasis in design. Her career background includes office management and supervision, event management, building client relationships, and customer support and service. Kim is a popular Zumba instructor and enjoys leading group exercises classes and motivating her students to better themselves.  She also sings first soprano and performs with the Boise Women’s Chorus. Kim is married and has seven children and enjoys her family life as well as community service.