Malia Collins

Malia Collins

Author Malia Collins of Boise has been named the Idaho Writer in Residence for a two-year term starting July 1 by the Idaho Commission on the Arts. In that role, Collins, author of short stories, essays and two children's books and a professor at the College of Western Idaho, will give at least four readings a year throughout the state.

"Collins writes splendid prose full of warmth and vivid imagery," a panel of judges who reviewed the applicants anonymously said about her work.

In addition to teaching English and creative writing at CWI, Collins has worked as a teaching writer with The Cabin's Writers in the Schools program and currently teaches at Writers at Harriman, among other writing-related activities.

The Writer in Residence is the highest literary recognition accorded an Idaho writer; past awardees include Riane Raptosh, 2013; Brady Udall, 2010; Anthony Doerr, 2007; and Kim Barnes, 2004. Collins will receive a $10,000 award.

Jocelyn Robertson, literature director for the commission, said, "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."  

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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