Collins Named Writer in Residence
Writer Malia Collins of Boise has been named Idaho Writer in Residence by the Idaho Commission on the Arts. Collins is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the College of Western Idaho, has published short stories, essays, and two Hawaiian children’s books, and is currently working on a collection of essays. Collins’s application was reviewed anonymously by a panel of out-of-state judges and was selected based on writing samples, professional accomplishments and audio samples of her reading from her work. According to the review panel, “Collins writes splendid prose full of warmth and vivid imagery. She braids the personal and cultural beautifully and gives voice to characters we haven’t heard or seen before.” The panel was impressed by Collins’s service in the writing community; for years she worked as a teaching writer with The Cabin’s Writers in the Schools program and currently teaches at Writers at Harriman. She is a teaching artist with the Idaho Commission on the Arts and has worked as a story gatherer on the Story Quilt Project, a collaboration between the Commission and Artisans For Hope.
Malia Collins is a native of Hawaii and has lived, worked, and traveled around the world. She now lives in Boise with her husband and two children.
Idaho’s Writer in Residence is the highest literary recognition accorded an Idaho writer and those selected embody preeminent quality in the literary field, complemented by the ability to deliver compelling readings. In assuming the title of Writer in Residence Collins joins literary luminaries such as Diane Raptosh (2013), Brady Udall (2010), Anthony Doerr (2007) and Kim Barnes (2004). Collins will receive $10,000 and serve a two-year term, starting July 1, 2019, during which she will give at least four readings annually throughout the state.
Jocelyn Robertson, Literature Director at the Commission, notes, “Collins writes deeply personal and intimate stories full of haunting metaphoric imagery. She is generous with her writing and with encouraging those who don’t consider themselves writers to tell their stories; her work with youth and refugees has given voice to many who would not otherwise be a part of the conversation. She is uniquely qualified to build community around stories, believing we all have one to tell. Idaho will benefit by having her as the Idaho Writer in Residence.”
ABOUT THE PANELISTS
Diana Marie Delgado’s debut poetry collection, Tracing the Horse, is forthcoming from BOA Editions (Fall, 2019). She is the author of the chapbook Late Night Talks with Men I Think I Trust (Center for Book Arts, 2015) and is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts fellow. The current Literary Director of the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona, she holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University.
Jesse Donaldson was born and raised in Kentucky and currently lives in Oregon. He attended the Michener Center for Writers in Texas, Oregon State University, and has received writing fellowships from Tin House and Bread Loaf. He is the author of two books, The More They Disappear and On Homesickness.
Apricot Irving is the author of The Gospel of Trees, a lyrical meditation on ecology, loss, and the tangled history of missions in Haiti, which won an Oregon Book Award. She is the recipient of a Literary Arts Creative Nonfiction Fellowship and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and her writing has appeared in Granta, On Being, Topic Magazine, Tin House, Oregon Humanities, and the anthology Best Women’s Travel Writing. Raised as missionary’s daughter in Haiti, she has also waited tables, dug trees in the rain, and taught literature and writing to students in Indonesia, Shanghai, Ireland, the U.K. and the U.S. She reported from Haiti on post-earthquake rebuilding efforts for the radio program This American Life and is the founder and director of the Boise Voices Oral History Project, a collaboration between youth and elders to record the stories of a gentrifying neighborhood in N/NE Portland. She lives in the Columbia River Gorge with her husband and their two wildly imaginative boys.
EJ Levy’s story collection, Love, In Theory, received a 2012 Flannery O’Connor Award, a 2012 Foreword Book of the Year Award (Bronze), the 2014 GLCA New Writers Award, and was named a 2013 Kirkus Best Indie Book of the Year; Cheryl Strayed called it “a brilliant debut” and Roxane Gay called it a “smart, smart book.” Levy is also editor of Tasting Life Twice: Literary Lesbian Fiction by New American Writers (Avon), winner of the Lambda Literary Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, The New York Times, Orion, Salon, Best American Essays, The Washington Post, and The Nation, among other places, and have been widely anthologized. She earned a degree in History from Yale and has worked as an environmental and LGBTQ activist and magazine editor. She is an Associate Professor at Colorado State University. Her debut novel, The Cape Doctor, is forthcoming from Little Brown.
Michael Mejia is the author of the novels Forgetfulness and TOKYO (both published by FC2), and his writing has appeared in many journals and anthologies. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, he is editor-in-chief of Western Humanities Review, co-founding editor of Ninebark Press, and a professor of creative writing at the University of Utah.
A former Broadway assistant director, Nicole Pouchet is a published novelist and a screenwriter for Zombie Orpheus Entertainment’s award-winning, fantasy TV series, Strowlers. Her screenplays have earned finalist placements in PAGE International Screenwriting Award and Tracking Board Launchpad’s Contest. Books from her paranormal romance series have ranked #1 on bestseller lists and won a second prize in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Her latest manuscript won first place in a Romance Writers of America contest. Nicole is a Board Member for the Northwest Screenwriters Guild and a guest lecturer for the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. She graduated from Duke University with a focus on film and video. Since selling her marketing agency in 2016, Nicole spends her hours writing and raising two sons with her spouse.