Fresh from being crowned Boise's first official poet laureate, Diane Raptosh has just snagged another major Gem State literary award. Raptosh was recently named the state's Writer in Residence by the Idaho Commission on the Arts.
Raptosh, who received an Honorable Mention in Boise Weekly's 2013 Fiction 101 competition, currently serves as the Eyck-Berringer Endowed Chair in English at the College of Idaho. Raptosh is also the author of four poetry publications: American Amnesiac, Parents from a Different Alphabet, Labor Songs and Just West of Now.
The Writer in Residence award is handed out every three years and carries a $10,000 prize. Other local lit luminaries Brady Udall, Anthony Doerr and Kim Barnes have served in the position, which obliges recipients to share their work at four annual public readings scattered across the state.
The ICA also announced its fiscal year 2014 fellowships, which will go to fiction writer Kimberly Frank Kirk of Sun Valley, poet Jim Richards of Rexburg, fiction writer Alvin Greenberg of Boise, poet Janet Holmes of Boise, and creative non-fiction writer Gary Gildner of Grangeville. ICA Fellowships recognize the outstanding work of Idaho artists and writers and come with a $5,000 award "intended to contribute to the recipient's professional artistic growth and development."
Speaking of prestigious arts honors, Boise Art Museum Executive Director and CEO Melanie Fales has been accepted into the national Association of Art Museum Directors. AAMD is comprised of 200 art museum directors from across the United States, Mexico and Canada. According to its website, the organization serves as a "forum for the exchange of information and ideas, acting as an advocate for its member art museums, and being a leader in shaping public discourse about the arts community and the role of art in society."
And in other BAM news, the museum recently received a large-scale sculpture from collectors Drew and Katie Gibson. Washington artist Brad Rude's sculpture "A World Beyond" is the largest sculpture of his career and features an outsized donkey on a wheeled cart with precariously balanced toy-like animals arched above its back. The piece will be transported from Sun Valley to Boise, where it will reside in BAM's Sculpture Garden.