After a three-year long journey at the University of New Mexico, Mitch Marty is ready for his next adventure after graduation.

Marty started his college years as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a major in English (Rhetoric & Writing). After settling on a field, he chose UNM for his Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) degree in creative writing.

“I came to the University of New Mexico for my MFA in part because I wanted to experience a different environment/culture that I grew up in the Midwest. UNM has also a great program that’s fully funded, so I was able to teach,” Marty said.  

In addition to being a graduate student at UNM, Marty held the title of associate editor for the Blue Mesa Review Magazine (BMR). 

He started working at BMR in his first semester at UNM in fall 2017 as a graduate reader and graphic designer. The following year he became the managing editor and at the beginning of the school year 2019-2020 he became the associate editor.

Prior to BMR, Marty had editorial experiences that helped him shape his decisions here at UNM.

“I wanted to work for BMR because of my experience working as an Undergraduate Reader and the Fiction Editor for Steam Ticket at UW-La Crosse. I loved reading through submissions and leading class discussions as an editor,” Marty said.

Marty had to balance all of this work as a student, editor and as a teacher’s assistant for the English department at UNM. And of course, things did not become easier due to COVID-19.

“Even having taught online in the past, switching a face-to-face class to an online mid-semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic was incredibly difficult,” Marty said.

Even in the face of many difficulties, Marty managed to turn the situation around not only for him but for the people around him. 

“Working with Mitch, I know I can always trust him to get things done, even when everything else seems to be falling apart,” MFA in Poetry, Tori Cárdenas said. “We don’t get paid extra for taking on these extra roles but Mitch always takes a lot of pride in the work he does and involves himself with and I knew I could rely on him.”

Although his progression at BMR was straightforward, his MFA program took some turns. 

What started as him being a fiction candidate for his MFA changed into a nonfiction candidate after his first year at UNM after taking a workshop with Greg Martin. 

“Finishing an entire dissertation manuscript in two years when I had little experience writing nonfiction and no plan for a manuscript feels like a huge feat,” Marty said.

While his near future is uncertain, Marty said he knows writing will remain a constant.

“Keep writing. No matter where I land, my writing practice has changed completely, and I’m excited to keep working on the manuscript for my memoir,” Marty said.

With his MFA on hand, Marty will continue to submit his writing and photography for publication in literary magazines. Most importantly, he will keep revising his memoir until it is published. 

Annya Loya is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @annyaloyaDL