Western Press Books / Manifest West Anthology

Western Pr​ess Books is housed in the undergraduate creative writing program in Western's CALL Department (Communication Arts, Languages, and Literature) and is distributed through the University Press of Colorado. Students in the undergraduate creative writing program as well as the graduate Certificate in Publishing serve on the Editorial Board of the Press and work each year on production of the annual anthology Manifest West.

Titles from Western Press Books are available at local and area bookstores. To order copies, click on the desired titles below.

To see the current call for submission, visit our Submittable page at https://westernstatepress.submittable.com/submit.

Contacts: Dr. Elizabyth Hiscox, Editor-in-Chief, ehiscox@western.edu; or Dr. Mark Todd, Consulting Editor, mtodd@western.edu.

Recent Publications

Manifest West #5

Manifest West 2016 Cover
Serenity and Severity, the latest issue of Manifest West, was published in July 2016.

Serenity and severity form a classic Western dichotomy with many manifestations. Beautiful growth and renewal follow a terrifying and destructive forest fire. Rain upon a hayfield can be interpreted as grace or judgment from above, depending on the season. The unpredictability of nature provides hikers with a breathtaking view one day and a life-threatening scenario the next. Yet the nature of the West does not only imply the outdoors. The people of the West encounter serenity and severity in all aspects of life, and this duality impacts their identity and shapes their lifestyles, outlooks, worldviews, and values. This year’s collection includes political discussions, philosophical ponderings, and lighthearted humor that are all a part of life in the West.

For the fifth volume of Manifest West, twenty-nine writers explore this theme, revealing the duality of Western life through many different narrative trails—including governed environment, overwhelming fires, hiking adventures, and the effect of location on family. Creativity and diversity come to this anthology in both content and form, with flash fiction joining Manifest West’s standard genres of creative nonfiction, short fiction, and poetry. Their combined reflections enable us to see the intense relationship between humanity and nature; sometimes nature directs humans’ lives, to their harm and to their benefit, and other times, humanity abuses the very environment it cherishes as its home. Authors bring their personal styles, voices, and experiences with life in the West to contribute to a balanced and unique interpretation of serenity and severity.

Contributors include Rebecca Aronson, Betsy Bernfeld, Heidi E. Blankenship, Kaye Lynne Booth, Sarah B. Boyle, John Brantingham, William Cass, David Lavar Coy, Benjamin Dancer, Gail Denham, Patricia Frolander, John Haggerty, Lyla D. Hamilton, Michael Harty, Rick Kempa, Don Kunz, Ellaraine Lockie, Nathan Alling Long, Sarah Fawn Montgomery, Juan J. Morales, Lance Nizami, Ronald Pickett, Terry Severhill, David Stallings, Scott T. Starbuck, Abigail Van Kirk, Victoria Waddle, Evan Morgan Williams, Steven Wingate.

This volume marks the fifth consecutive year that Western’s Certificate in Publishing program has produced the anthology, each with a different theme. In 2014, the press also released its first single-author work, “Letters From the Headwaters,” by Aaron A. Abeyta, recipient of both the National Book Award and Colorado Book Award. The next edition of Manifest West is already in preparation, and the press will begin accepting submissions later this fall. Submission guidelines are available online at western.edu/westernpress. Both Manifest West and Letters from the Headwaters  have been included in “picks for this fall’s best reading” by High Country News.

Manifest West #4
Manifest West #4

Manifest West, #4, "Western Weird," appeared in Fall 2015. To borrow from the VanderMeer definition for speculative fiction’s “New Weird,” the volume presents a new parallel genre for work that subverts romanticized ideas about place, playing with clichés about the West in order to put these elements to discomfiting, rather than consoling ends. Think about what Flannery O’Connor and Carson McCullers did with the South, and now translate it into the New West. Or look at Robert Garner McBrearty’s short story collection, Let the Birds Drink in Peace, or Annie Proulx’s short story collection, Close Range: Wyoming Stories. Think of David J. Rothman’s mock-epic “Tunnel of Love,” which will be reprinted in the anthology. All of that....suggests Western Weird.

WPB's first single-author book

WPB's first single-author book
Western Press Books released its first single-author work, a collection of essays and poems by Western Slope Poet Laureate Aaron A. Abeyta, in September 2014.

Published in collaboration with Western's Headwaters Project, on its 25th annual conference, Sept. 19-20, 2014, Abeyta's Letters from the Headwaters is a collection of poems, letters, and memoirs that captures the spirit of the American Southwest in its history, its present, and its future for the region. Edited by Headwaters Project Director Dr. John Hausdoerffer and with a forward by Headwaters founder George Sibley. To order a copy of this book, please click here.

Other Available Titles



Cover for Manifest West, #1

Cover, Manifest West #2

Manifest West, #3


Manifest West, #1, 2012
(Ed. Teresa Milbrodt)

Manifest West, #2, 2013
(Ed. Teresa Milbrodt)

Manifest West, #3, 2014
(Ed. Larry Meredith)


Click on the any of the above titles to read more or to place an order.

Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information