C of I professor receives Idaho’s top literary award

College of Idaho professor and alumna Diane Raptosh has won her second major literary award of the year with the announcement by the Idaho Commission on the Arts that she will serve as the state’s Writer in Residence.

Raptosh, who earlier this year was named Boise’s first official poet laureate, will hold the title of Idaho’s Writer in Residence for the next three years and receive a $10,000 prize. The Writer in Residence award is the highest literary recognition and largest financial award accorded to an Idaho writer.

“I am thrilled and humbled to have the honor of serving as the state’s Writer in Residence, which provides the opportunity to give readings throughout the state and at special public events,” Raptosh said. “To be an ambassador for literature – for poetry, in particular – at the level of the city and now of the state, is one of the highest honors I can imagine. I am deeply grateful.”

Raptosh teaches creative writing, composition and literature at The College of Idaho, where she holds the Eyck-Berringer Chair in English. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the C of I in 1983.

Raised in Idaho, Raptosh is a Pushcart Prize-nominated author of four books of poetry: American Amnesiac, Parents from a Different Alphabet, Labor Songs and Just West of Now. She has received three ICA Creative Writing Fellowships and held residencies in the literary arts at the Banff Centre and The Studies of Key West.

Raptosh joins some of Idaho’s finest writers as Writer in Residence, including literary luminaries Brady Udall, Anthony Doerr and Kim Barnes.

As Writer in Residence, Raptosh will share her work at four annual public readings across the state, including eight in rural communities, as well as at special public events.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit