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“There’s nothing more exciting than bringing books into the world, especially books written by emerging writers.”

Dr. Steve Coughlin wears many hats. As a poet, he has a book-length poetry collection,Deep Cuts. As a teacher, he serves both undergraduate and graduate students, as both the undergraduate creative writing program director and also as a faculty member in the MFA Nature Writing concentration for the Graduate Program in Creative Writing. He is also lead editor of Western Press Books, a well-regarded consortium of universities whose books are distributed by the University Press of Colorado.

That’s a lot of new—new book, new appointments, and a new collaborations. But he couldn’t be more delighted, “There’s nothing more exciting than bringing books into the world,” Coughlin said, “especially books written by emerging writers.”

Indeed, and the Nature Writing MFA program have a unique collaboration in that one current student or alumni of the program has a manuscript selected by Western Press Books to be published each year. The collaboration is a new one, and the very first title will be chosen this summer and published next year.

Coughlin notes he conceived this idea while considering new directions for Western Press Books to expand its audience and further impact discussions within nature writing. “What’s so exciting about this partnership,” Coughlin said, “is it allows Western Press Books to be a leader among presses of the Mountain West in inviting new and diverse voices into conversations relating to current environmental concerns.”

“This is an unprecedented, thrilling partnership,” said Dr. Laura Pritchett, Director of the MFA in Nature Writing Program. “I am so grateful to Dr. Coughlin for creating this collaboration. I know of no other MFA program which offers its students an opportunity like this.”

Indeed, one of the guiding philosophies of the press is to explore the diversity of human relationships with place and environmental concerns. According to their mission statement, “Western Press Books strives to enhance the complexity of conversations and diversity of voices within the field of nature writing.”

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