The Idaho Commission on the Arts named Boise writer Christian Winn as Idaho Writer-in-Residence, the state’s highest literary honor.
His three-year term starts July 1. Winn receives $10,000 as part of the award, and will give readings across the state over the next three years. Previous Writers in Residence include novelists Brady Udall, Kim Barnes, Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Doerr, and most recently poet Diane Raptosh.
Winn, 48, is a published author and adjunct professor in Boise State University’s English department. He teaches kids and adults through The Cabin literary organization and curates several lit events in town, including Storyfort at the Treefort Music Fest and the Modern Hotel’s Campfire Stories, a literary reading series at that runs from June through October.
Originally from Palo Alto, Calif., Winn made his way to Boise via Seattle, where he went to college, in the 1990s.
“By college it was a romantic pursuit, living like the Beats, hanging out in coffeehouses, vagabonding around talking about writing,” Winn says. “Then I moved here, and decided to take it more seriously. I went to Boise State to get my master’s and really learned to craft stories.”
Winn published “Naked Me” (Dock Street Press), a short story collection in 2014. His stories have appeared in The Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row, Ploughshares and McSweeney’s and other literary journals. His second book, “What’s Wrong With You Is What’s Wrong With Me,” will be released from Dock Street in the fall.
Winn’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 him reading from his work.
Campfire Stories 2016
All reading are from 8 to 10 p.m.
▪ Monday, June 13: “On Food and Culture” with award-winning novelist and journalist Jeff Chu and Idaho State University’s history writer Susan Swetnam.
▪ Monday, July 11: “Fiction and Poetry” with former James A. Michener Fellow in poetry at the University of Texas-Austin and author Josh Booton and fiction writer Meghan Kenny.
▪ Monday, Aug. 8: “Fiction and Non-Fiction” with novelist and Puschart Prize winning-fiction writer Alexander Maksik (“Shelter in Place” [Europa Editions]) and award winning-fantasy writer, nonfiction writer and memoirist Ben Tanzer.
▪ Monday, Sept. 12: “Journalists Talking About The Big Stories That are Forming the Identity of Idaho,” a panel discussion by journalists including Idaho Statesman political reporter Bill Dentzer and nonprofit reporter Anna Webb, and Boise Weekly arts writer Harrison Berry.
▪ Monday Oct. 31: “Halloween Stories” with award winning short story and screen writer Alan Heathcock.
Find more on these writers on the Campfire Stories Facebook page.