B.A., Tulane University, English – Creative Writing Emphasis, 1991
Creative nonfiction and place-based author Molly Murfee is a freelance writer, field educator and outdoor guide. Her essays specialize in nature and environmental writing cut with cultural and societal critique, garnering recent honors such as: finalist for the 2022 Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, contributor to the 2022 Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, and creative grant recipient from Colorado Creative Industries and the Crested Butte Arts Festival, among others.
Molly has studied, written and taught the subjects of ecofeminism, mythology, women’s studies, environmental literature and nature writing, environmental philosophy and ethics, environmental history, anthropology, and indigenous culture and history for over 30 years. As an educator, Molly specializes in the incorporation of outdoor experiential education into the world of academia, utilizing the wilderness experience to weave thoughtful and strong heart strings between students and the natural world that surrounds them.
With Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in literature, creative writing, and environmental writing, she has served as faculty teaching the same with Colorado College (where she co-taught with Terry Tempest Williams and Brooke Williams), Colorado State University, and the Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University (now transformed into the Expedition Education Institute at Marlboro College), as well as the Nature Writing Concentration of the MFA Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Western Colorado University. She has additionally presented her work and taught classes at conferences such as the Mountain Words Literary Festival and the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment.
As an outdoor guide Molly has worked with organizations such as Colorado Outward Bound and Alaska Wildland Adventures sharing knowledge in outdoor adventure skills, Leave No Trace ethics, and natural history. Here her course areas have ranged across the United States from Maine to Colorado and Utah, as well as international stints in Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas, and Costa Rica.
As a writer Molly believes writing is a powerful tool. With a fundamental drive to connect people to their place, themselves and their communities, Molly’s deep desire is that her words incite readers to become vehicles for positive environmental, social and cultural change in the crucial matters of our time such as the preservation of our wild places and the assurance of human rights. Her creative nonfiction essays and articles offer an alternative perspective and commentary on both current and timeless topics involving wilderness, environmental issues, connecting to nature, disconnecting from technology, mountain and outdoor culture, sustainability, stewardship, community, mythology, philosophy, modern culture, natural history, human rights, communication and beyond. With these topics in mind, she devotedly pens her regular op-ed column and blog, Earth Muffin Memos. With over 500 published articles, Molly’s regional and national by-lines range from The Mountain Gazette to Powder Magazine. Locally she served as the predominate feature writer and editor of the arts, entertainment and culture publication, the Crested Butte Weekly, and continues to serve her community by writing regularly for the Crested Butte News and Crested Butte Magazine.
Molly is hard at work on her book in progress, The Adventure of Home, a creative nonfiction lyrical narrative of the epic journey of European settler culture re-membering our indigeneity to this Earth. Acknowledging and healing past stories of colonialism, resource exploitation, and patriarchal dominion over women, nature, and anything “other,” it reweaves a living mythology of sacred earth, community, and connection, inspiring deep activism and stewardship to combat our ecological crises.
ENVS 397: Writing the Wastelands
Molly’s Earth Muffin Memos blog – offering thought-provoking, inspiring, and informative creative essays motivating positive environmental and social change – appears regularly at www.mollymurfee.com/blog-earth-muffin-memos and the Crested Butte News
Molly has over 500 published articles. Below is a small sample of past published essays:
“Is Wilderness Only Valuable if it Serves Human Needs?” Mountain Journal. January 22, 2020. Redefining wild places beyond duality and dominion.
“The Wild Within,” Mountain Gazette. July 2010. Exploring the primordial connection of cultures living on the fringe of civilization.
“Cultivating Responsibility: Liberal Arts Schools’ Contribution to Sustainable Agriculture,” Climate Edu. February 2009. On colleges using campus farms and gardens to teach environmentally sound agriculture.
“Simple Acts of Noticing: A Backcountry Hermit Contributes to Climate Change Comprehension,” Backcountry Magazine. October 2008. A personality profile on the decades of climate change data collected by a remote caretaker and its value towards understanding global warming.
“Teaching Renewable Energy: It Takes a Village,” Solar Today, May / June 2006. Installing a photovoltaic array to teach students about solar energy.
External Professional Affiliations
- Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE)
- Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)
- Artists of the West Elks (AWE)
- Crested Butte Creative District
- Crested Butte Mountain Theatre Writers Group
- Crested Butte Writer’s Network
- Mountain Writers Cooperative
- North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA)