Montana Public Radio

Creative Writing Program

In 2015, Stephanie wrote an impassioned viral essay in Vox, which detailed her life as a domestic worker, a field largely dominated by women working as housecleaners, nannies, and in elder care, jobs that often deny basic labor rights like minimum wage, overtime, sick and vacation pay. Emotionally raw yet heartwarming, MAID gives voice to the working poor, and is fueled by Stephanie’s courage to expose the reality of pursuing the American dream from below the poverty line.

Debra Magpie Earling at an honoring ceremony in the Payne Family Native American Center on the University’s Missoula campus, September 21, 2016.
Mike Albans

Debra Magpie Earling, a Bitterroot Salish tribal member, is now director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Montana. She is the first Native American to serve as director of the 96-year-old program. Earling is thrilled by the appointment, but also a little nervous.