Division of HumanitiesMFA in Creative Writing - Low Residency

Rainier Writing Workshop

"I am impressed with the caliber, commitment, and generosity of the faculty. Their willingness to engage with us in and out of our classroom made this experience unlike any other I've had."

Mary Clearman Blew

Mary Clearman Blew

Fiction, Nonfiction






Mentor. Workshops and classes in fiction and nonfiction.

Statement: "To write well is an elusive goal that requires a lifetime commitment. I see my students as fellow lifers working toward our common goal. I can show some shortcuts in craft to students in fiction and nonfiction; I can encourage them in readings that show how other writers have dealt well with problems in character development, for example, or dialogue or creation of scene or reflection; and I can be a sounding board and advisor for students’ questions about focus. Perhaps most important, I point out to students where their writing is coming alive, where the energy of the words is lifting them off the page, where their readers’ attention is caught and wants to continue."

Mary Clearman Blew grew up on a small ranch in Montana and is author of the acclaimed essay collection All But the Waltz; two memoirs: This Is Not the Ivy League and Balsamroot; and the story of her aunt, Writing Her Own Life: Imogene Welch, Western Rural Schoolteacher. Her novel, Jackalope Dreams, published by University of Nebraska Press, won the Western Heritage Award.

She has also published three books of short stories, most recently Sister Coyote (2001). In addition, she has edited two collections of Idaho essays: one on water, one on fire. Her own most recent book of essays is Bone Deep in Landscape (2001). Her stories have been reprinted in both the Best American and O'Henry collections. She was twice the recipient of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, once in fiction and once in nonfiction. In 2004, she received the "Distinguished Achievement Award" from the Western Literature Association. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Idaho.