Three Idaho writers have been awarded Literature Fellowships from the Idaho Commission on the Arts: Brian Blanchfield (Moscow), Emily Pittinos (Boise), Lauren Westerfield (Moscow). Fellowship recipients will each receive $5,000. The awards, given every two years, recognize outstanding writers, honoring work deemed to exhibit the highest artistic merit during peer review. Applicants were reviewed anonymously in a highly competitive process by panelists from out of state and were judged on the basis of existing work and professional history.


BRIAN BLANCHFIELD is the author of three books of poetry and prose, most recently Proxies: Essays Near Knowing, which received a 2016 Whiting Award in Nonfiction and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Memoir. Recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ James Laughlin Prize and a Howard Foundation Fellowship, he lives with his partner, John, in Moscow and is Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at University of Idaho.

EMILY PITTINOS is a Great Lakes poet and essayist currently living in Boise. A Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Boise State University, Pittinos has received support from Vermont Studio Center, the Alexa Rose Foundation, and Washington University in St. Louis. Her recent work appears, or will soon appear, in The Adroit Journal, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, Mississippi Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. Her debut collection, The Last Unkillable Thing (University of Iowa Press, April 2021), is a winner of the 2020 Iowa Poetry Prize.

LAUREN W. WESTERFIELD is a Moscow-based writer, editor, and educator. Her essays and poetry have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Seneca Review, Willow Springs, Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, and Ninth Letter. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington State University, where she serves as the creative nonfiction and managing editor of Blood Orange Review. She is also the nonfiction editor at Split/Lip Press.


LEAH FRANCESCA CHRISTIANSON earned an MFA from Miami University, where she was editor-in-chief of Oxford Magazine. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, New Stories from the Midwest Award, and was recently long-listed for The Masters Review Fiction Anthology. Currently, she lives in Oakland, California and teaches creative writing at The Loft Literary Center.

DAVID J. DANIELS is the author of two chapbooks, and the full-length collection Clean, winner of the Four Way Books Intro Prize. A former Stadler Poetry Fellow at Bucknell, he is currently Poetry Editor of Pebble Lake Review and teaches at the University of Denver.

JANALYN GUO is a fiction writer and editor based in Salt Lake City. She is the author of the short story collection, Our Colony Beyond the City of Ruins. Her work has been supported by the MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Arts and has appeared in various literary journals. She also acquires creative nonfiction for the University of Utah Press.

RUTH JOFFRE is the author of the story collection Night Beast. Ruth earned her BA from Cornell University and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She now lives in Seattle, where she currently serves as the Hugo House Prose Writer-in-Residence.

STEFAN KARLSSON received his MFA in Poetry from the University of California-Irvine, where he served as the poetry editor for Faultline, UCI’s Journal of the Arts and Literature, and taught as a Composition Lecturer. He is currently based in Long Beach, CA.

JULIE STRAND is a poet and teaching writer living in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. She is the former Program Director of The Cabin in Boise, Idaho and the current Arts Program Director at COMPAS, a St. Paul, Minnesota organization that connects teaching artists with schools and organizations to help people reach their potential through the arts. She received her MFA in creative writing (poetry) from Boise State University.