Access to this thesis is limited to Boise State University students and employees or persons using Boise State University facilities.

Off-campus Boise State University users: To download Boise State University access-only theses/dissertations, please select the "Off-Campus Download" button and enter your Boise State username and password when prompted.

Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


Theatre Arts

Major Advisor

Mitchell Wieland, M.F.A.


Emily Ruskovich, M.F.A.


Nicole Cullen, M.F.A.


Every Bird a Rival is a collection of short stories that explore nature, space, and belonging. With a mix of flash fiction and short stories, the collection brings together stories about characters looking for home often outside of the confines of four walls. There is a theme of the in between that the biracial characters exist in and search for placement and belonging when they are of two worlds. The natural world plays a pivotal role throughout the collection. It is through the natural world—landscape, animals, biology— that characters come to understand their place in their own narrative. From two kids in the aftermath of the Northridge earthquake, a young scientist seeking what it means to be a woman in this world, a group of boys losing their neighborhood, a budding ornithologist searching for meaning in fallen nests— there is a shared longing for what is just outside of their reach. Below I have included the table of contents and the final short story, “How to Spot a Whale.”