Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University

Bethany Schultz Hurst earns national recognitions for her poetry

July 30, 2020

Bethany Schultz Hurst, associate professor of English, recently earned two major honors for her poetry. Most notably, her poem series "Notes on Pet Monkeys and How To Manage Them" was selected by judge David Keplinger as the winner of the Humboldt Poetry Prize, a new prize from "The Florida Review" for poetry focused on environmental concerns. Judge Keplinger wrote of this series:

"Bethany Schultz Hurst’s exquisite response to an 1888 colonialist manual on the 'management' of captured animals uses the erasure form in concert with the rigor and formal limitations of the sonnet to study the mistreatment, ailments, and murder ('with an iron bar a sharp and heavy blow') of the monkey transplanted from its natural environment into a human menagerie, and whose existence there plays out like some profane translation of a sacred text. In the final sonnet in this sequence, the skinning and posturing of the dead conclude with the instruction to 'Keep him in full light.' What a brilliant use of artifice to reverse that spell; to bring atrocity to light; to classify the crimes of colonialism; to speak out against what Empire has enacted in the name of power and spectacle."

Additionally, Schultz Hurst's poem "Exposure" was named runner-up for the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize and will appear in the Fall 2020 issue of "Southern Humanities Review."

Beyond these honors, Shultz Hurst also published four poems in the anthology "Rewilding: Poems for the Environment" (Flexible Press). All proceeds from the sale of that book will be donated to Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, a nonprofit environmental organization.

Schultz Hurst has worked at Idaho State University since 2003, where she teaches courses in composition and creative writing. She has been honored with multiple awards, including the ISU Distinguished Teacher Award (2008), the ISU Outstanding Public Service Award (2011), and the ISU Outstanding Researcher Award (2015). Her book of poetry, "Miss Lost Nation" won the 2014 Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry, selected by presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco.