Ahsahta Press Receives First NEA Grant for Poetry Anthology

By Sherry Squires

Boise State University’s Ahsahta Press has been awarded its  first-ever National Endowment for the Arts grant. The grant will help  fund an anthology of postmodern pastoral poetry titled “The Arcadia  Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral.”

“This is our first anthology and our first NEA grant and it  represents a huge breakthrough for us,” said Ahsahta Press director and  editor Janet Holmes. “Because of the NEA support, we’re able to take on  this large project in addition to our usual publishing schedule. Our aim  is to have it ready for fall adoptions for poetry and literature  courses next year.”

Ahsahta’s NEA proposal for the $7,500 grant was to support the  publication, promotion and website development for an anthology of  poetry that documents postmodernism’s intersection with the pastoral and  the latter’s changing definition. An online component, featuring new  media work and teaching aids to accompany the book, also is part of the  project. Edited by poets Joshua Corey of Lake Forest College in Illinois  and G.C. Waldrep of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, its  contributors include Rae Armantrout, Oni Buchanan, Thalia Field, C.S.  Giscombe, Sarah Gridley, Brenda Hillman, K. Silem Mohammad, Ed Roberson,  Arthur Sze, Brian Teare and C.D. Wright.

Ahsahta is a Mandan word meaning “Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep” and  was first recorded by members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Ahsahta  Press is a not-for-profit literary publisher, founded at Boise State to  preserve the best works by early poets of the American West, including  many under-published women poets.

Soon after its inception, the press began publishing contemporary  poetry by Western poets along with its reprint titles. With the  inception of the MFA in Creative Writing at Boise State, Ahsahta Press  expanded its scope, presenting the work of poets from across the nation  whose work is selected through a national competition or by general  submission. Ahsahta Press seeks out and publishes the best new poetry  from an eclectic range of aesthetics—poetry that is technically  accomplished, distinctive in style and thematically fresh.

For more information, visit ahsahtapress.boisestate.edu or contact Holmes at 426-3134 or jholmes@boisestate.edu.

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