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Bethany Schultz Hurst

Bethany Schultz Hurst

Professor of English

Office: LA 156



MFA, Creative Writing (2003), Eastern Washington University

BA, English (2000), Colorado State University

"To be haunted — one need not be a house" —Emily Dickinson

In my poetry, I aim to employ lyric form to explore the ways in which the contemporary United States West, in particular, may be haunted by the ideologies that drove 19th-century white settlement and continue to justify land-use policy today. Of the lyric form, Helen Vendler notes that “we are drawn in by the architecture of the poem—the manner in which its parts are arranged, so as to make a structure that reflects emotional intensity.” Because of the lyric’s relationship to both interiority and artifice/construction, I think of it as an ideal formal approach for investigating the impact of collective cultural imaginations on built environments.


Blueprint and Ruin. Southern Indiana Review Press, 2022. Michael Waters Poetry Prize.

Miss Lost Nation. Anhinga Press, 2014. Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, selected by Richard Blanco. Finalist, 2016 Kate Tufts Discovery Award.

Selected Recent/Forthcoming Poems in Journals

"Exposure," Southern Humanities Review

"The Birds Are Always in the Corn,"

"Donner Party," "Pinta, Nina, Santa Maria," and "Mylar," South Dakota Review 

“Keepsake” Grist

what now have you been eating?Image

“Notes on Pet Monkeys and How to Manage Them: Classification, Cage Items, Ailments, Concluding Observations” The Florida Review

Evensong (O Bewildering Picture)Ecotone

“Exile Queen” New Ohio Review

Broken Water MainSplit Rock Review (Pushcart Prize Nomination)

“No Season for Figs” and “Parable” Ploughshares 

Notes on Pet Monkeys and How to Manage Them: General ManagementJuked (Pushcart Prize Nomination)

"Seascape with Evacuating Animals" Gulf Coast

Selected Awards/Honors

Humboldt Prize for Poetry. The Florida Review, 2020

Runner-up, Auburn Witness Prize for Poetry. Southern Humanities Review, 2020. 

Idaho Commission on the Arts Literary Fellowship, 2017

Finalist, Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Claremont Graduate College, 2016

The Best American Poetry 2015

Master Researcher, ISU, 2015

Outstanding Service, ISU, 2011

Distinguished Teacher, ISU, 2008

Courses Taught

6662: Creative Writing Seminar: The Political Poem

4494: Senior Seminar: Creative Writing

4408/5508: Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Prose

4406/5506: Advanced Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

3306: Intermediate Creative Writing Workshop

2206: Introduction to Creative Writing Workshop

1102: Writing and Rhetoric II

1101: Writing and Rhetoric I