History and Mission


OUR MISSION: Ahsahta Press champions and promotes surprising, relevant, and accessible experimental poetry that more commercially minded small presses avoid; in making it widely available, we aim to increase its readership.


A not-for-profit literary publisher, Ahsahta was founded in 1974 at Boise State University to preserve the best works by early poets of the American West. Its name, ahsahta, is the Mandan word meaning “Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep,” and was first recorded by members of the Lewis and Clark expedition; the founding editors chose the word to honor the press’s original mission to publish Western poetry. Peggy Pond Church, H.L. Davis, Hazel Hall, Gwendolen Haste, Haniel Long, and Norman Macleod are among the early Western writers Ahsahta Press restored to print.

Soon after its inception, the press began publishing contemporary poetry by Western poets along with its reprint titles. Ahsahta editors discovered and initially published a number of widely popular poets from the West—among them David Baker, Katharine Coles, Wyn Cooper, Gretel Ehrlich, Cynthia Hogue, Leo Romero, and Carolyne Wright. With the inception of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at Boise State University, Ahsahta Press expanded its scope, presenting the work of poets from across the nation whose work is selected through our national competitions or by general submission.

Through the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, Ahsahta gives graduate students enrolled in publishing courses the opportunity for hands-on experience in the daily business of a small press, including initial manuscript readings, pre-press production, and marketing tasks. An undergraduate internship is available each semester as well for qualified students.

Ahsahta Press is grateful for the support it receives from donors through the Boise State University Foundation. To make a donation to Ahsahta Press, visit the Boise State Foundation page for Ahsahta Press, here.


Contact us:

ahsahta [at] boisestate.edu

208-eight six six-8017



Janet Holmes, Director and Editor

Photo on 9-5-17 at 1.22 PM










Kathryn Jensen, GA

Emma Heldman, GA


Spring 2018:

Michael Green, Emma Heldman, Kathryn Jensen, Brittany O’Meara, Tessy Ward


Website construction:

Shalom Pennington and Michael Lopez at Boise State Printing & Graphics. Thanks!


Note to Windows users regarding certificate warning and browser issues:

Windows XP with Internet Explorer doesn’t support SNI which may cause an SSL Certificate warning. Your communication is still secure and if the certificate says it’s from tacobellarena.com’s website that’s just another site on the same server. If you have versions of Internet Explorer below 9 it’s recommended you install the Google Chrome Frame plugin which will seamlessly display the Chrome version of the site within IE.