The Write Question

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A weekly literary program from Montana Public Radio that features writers from the western United States.

 

Riverbend Publishing

In the summer of 1967, life seems almost dangerously idyllic to fifteen-year-old Grace Birch and her ten-year-old sister Franny. Their mother is Nora, a beautiful and educated woman who writes haunted love poems when she isn’t working as a law professor at the local university. Their father is David, an actor turned drama professor. As the children of independent, bohemian parents, Grace and Franny spend their days entertaining themselves and their evenings observing the delicate dance that is their parents’ relationship. David’s dedication to his craft makes him magnetic to his students, but challenges his devotion to his two young daughters and his wife.

'Spirit'

Jun 6, 2016
Cover Art: Russell Chatham "Hayfields on the Cottonwood Bench," 2004. Oil, 36" x 48". / Copper Canyon Press

by Jim Harrison

Rumi advised me to keep my spirit
up in the branches of a tree and not peek
out too far, so I keep mine in the very tall
willows along the irrigation ditch out back,
a safe place to remain unspoiled by the filthy
culture of greed and murder of the spirit.
People forget their spirits easily suffocate
so they must keep them far up in tree

Simon & Schuster

A wildlife biologist’s shocking death leads to chilling discoveries about a home for troubled teens in Christine Carbo’s haunting and compelling new crime novel, Mortal Fall, set in the wilds of Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park police officer Monty Harris knows that each summer at least one person—be it a reckless, arrogant climber or a distracted hiker—will meet tragedy in the park. But Paul “Wolfie” Sedgewick’s fatal fall from the sheer cliffs near Going-To-the-Sun Road is incomprehensible. Wolfie was an experienced and highly regarded wildlife biologist who knew all too well the perils that Glacier’s treacherous terrain presents—and how to avoid them.

Fithian Press

In Canyons, Ward Fall is a Wyoming rancher, a man with three young sons and a supportive wife, Lorraine. Eric Lindsay is a reclusive musician and songwriter in Los Angeles. In college, their friendship turned ugly in an instant when a hunting accident traumatizes both men. Now, 25 years later, Ward invites Eric to join him at a hunting camp in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. Although fearful of the reunion’s dark potential, Lorraine encourages the trip, knowing Ward must confront his demons.

Ben Arent

by David Allan Cates

If we were both
hanging from a cliff
by one hand
you'd tell me how scary
it is to be hanging
from a cliff
by one hand
and we'd talk about
how it makes you feel
and how your hand

In September 2012, Ken Ilgunas stuck out his thumb in Denver, Colorado, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles north to the Alberta tar sands. After being duly appalled, he commenced to walk nearly 2,000 miles, (mostly) following the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.

It would become a 4.5 month journey across the Great Plains. To follow the pipe, he couldn't take roads. Instead, he walked across fields, grasslands, and private property. He had to trespass across America.

Blue Rider Press

In September 2012, Ken Ilgunas stuck out his thumb in Denver, Colorado, and hitchhiked 1,500 miles north to the Alberta tar sands. After being duly appalled, he commenced to walk nearly 2,000 miles, (mostly) following the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.

The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man in Seattle author Timothy Egan's book The Immortal Irishman:  The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero .

A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York — the revolutionary hero, back from the dead, at the dawn of the great Irish immigration to America.

Live, Love, Cupcakes / creative commons

by Cara Chamberlain

The city embellishes
A chase of silver
Or realistically a pus of clouds

Where the moon charades
As blemish or scar
Above the grocery of insomniacs

The dark respiration working
Nighthawks culling tides and waves
Of a winged blight over the big box store

© Michael Nichols/National Geographic Yellowstone National Park. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River from Artist Point.

The May 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine is devoted entirely to America's first national park: Yellowstone. It's more than just a park. It's a place where, 140 years ago, we began to negotiate a peace treaty with the wild.  David Quammen tells the story of the park in a four-part essay. He is the only author to write the entire narrative for an entire issue of National Geographic Magazine.

Yellowstone National Park: America’s Wild Idea. These stories and pictures of Yellowstone National Park's animals will surprise you.

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