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MFA Candidate Wins 2017 Glenn Balch Award

By: Brady W Moore   Published 2:23 pm / December 13, 2017

Ariel Delgado Dixon, a second-year fiction student in the Boise State University MFA in creative writing program, won the 2017 Glenn Balch Award for her short story titled “Current.” She will receive $1,000. Natalie Disney, a third-year Boise State MFA candidate in fiction, will receive $500 for second place, and Tim Griffith, who graduated in May 2017 from the MFA program, will receive $200 for third.

The Glenn Balch Award is an annual fiction competition open to fiction students in the MFA program in creative writing at Boise State. The family of the late Glenn Balch, author of thirty-four books, funds this award in honor of their father.

Dixon is a native of Trenton, New Jersey. Her writing also has been shortlisted for The Masters Review Anthology Prize.

This year’s judge was Wiley Cash, the New York Times best-selling author of “A Land More Kind than Home” and “This Dark Road to Mercy,” which are both available from William Morrow. His latest book, “The Last Ballad,” was released in October.

About Dixon and her prize-winning story, Cash said, “While reading and pondering ‘Current’ I was reminded of Marilynne Robinson’s ‘Housekeeping’ and the ways in which the world both outside and inside the home can be murderously dangerous, oppressive and awe-inspiring. This story is driven by smart dialogue and fully imagined characters, and it’s kept alive by scenes in which human foibles are at once surprisingly humorous and shockingly dangerous. I admired every word of this story.”

The MFA program in creative writing at Boise State offers degree tracks in fiction and poetry, emphasizing the art and craft of literary writing and concentrating on the student’s written work. Two of the MFA’s publishing entities — The Idaho Review and Ahsahta Press — are widely regarded as leading national publications that consistently feature the top writers in the country. Vice President for Research and Economic Development Mark Rudin has labeled the MFA in creative writing a top five research strength at Boise State. The program runs out of the Department of Theatre Arts, and each year brings distinguished writers to campus through its reading series and its visiting distinguished writer professorship. Past visiting distinguished writers include Joy Williams, Denis Johnson and Pierre Joris.