The Write Question

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

For the last several years, Robert Stubblefield has invited me to talk about The Write Question with students in one of the classes he teaches at the University of Montana. We talk about specific The Write Question programs students have listened to. Then I answer questions about the process of reading, interviewing, and creating programs for radio and the Web.

During this program Kate Cholewa talks about and reads from her debut novel, Shaking Out The Dead.

About the Book:

Geneva is a 62-year-old woman for whom love is a lesson.

Paris is a 29-year-old man for whom love is a feat.

Tatum is a 34-year-old woman for whom love is a tragedy.

But because love is none of these things, none know love.

Over the course of four seasons in Southwestern Montana, all of that will change.

For the last several years, Robert Stubblefield has invited me to talk about The Write Question with students in one of the classes he teaches at the University of Montana. We talk about specific The Write Question programs students have listened to. Then I answer questions about the process of reading, interviewing, and creating programs for radio and the Web.

"Itinerary"

Dec 8, 2014

Monologues of white interiors
time-dried of water and wind

crowds gather in history's emptiness
weightless in the hollows of memory

description without witness
so long ago lost.

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Do you love reading and recommending books to your friends? Are you a self-motivated, responsible person?

Can you volunteer an hour a week to help promote The Write Question?

Incentives:

  • free books
  • MTPR tote bag and T-shirt
  • opportunities to sit in on author interview recording sessions
  • insider information about the publishing industry and radio production

If you'd like to be a Social Media Volunteer for TWQ, please send few sentences explaining why to Chérie Newman:

cherie dot newman at umontana dot edu

For the last several years, Robert Stubblefield has invited me to talk about The Write Question with students in one of the classes he teaches at the University of Montana. We talk about specific The Write Question programs students have listened to. Then I answer questions about the process of reading, interviewing, and creating programs for radio and the Web.

Ken Egan Jr. talks about the reasons behind Montana's designation as a U.S. territory, which included very bad behavior by many of the men who were desperate to grab a bit of the region's resources for themselves. He also tells stories about some of the key characters of the time and reads from his new book, MONTANA 1864: Indians, Emigrants, and God in the Territorial Year.

About the book:

For the last several years, Robert Stubblefield has invited me to talk about The Write Question with students in one of the classes he teaches at the University of Montana. We talk about specific The Write Question programs students have listened to. Then I answer questions about the process of reading, interviewing, and creating programs for radio and the Web.

"Black Wolf"

Dec 1, 2014

He sits up in the snow,
raises his head
and howls.
No-one knows where
he came from.
Behind him the alpha female
of the Agate Pack
cuts of his shadow.
It's a Harlequin romance,
domestic drama,
unfathomable mystery.

They tell us
the old packs
are broken,
new ones reforming.
Some have died.

He stretches his neck.
I see his fangs flash.
He is so black
snow and air glitter
an aura about him.
The gray female, prone,
is a steady presence.

David G. Gordon explains why we should be eating bugs and talks about some of the recipes in his book, The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes, and Their Kin.

About the Book:

"Five Bars at the High Spot"

Nov 24, 2014
Frances McCue
Haley Young

It worked like this:
we clung to our telephones,
searching for clearance.
I rang for you over the river.
All water goes slant
to the place you need
most: mouth, sea, tributary,
and then into books
we love.

So you answered. “Hello,
great signal, wild scenery.”
We craved the high spots
and now you’d said it
up on the ledge of perfection
phone activated, scene made.

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For the last several years, Robert Stubblefield has invited me to talk about The Write Question with students in one of the classes he teaches at the University of Montana. We talk about specific programs, which, if students have done their homework assignments, they've listened to. Then I answer questions about the process of reading, interviewing, and creating programs for radio and the Web.

Bruce Holbert talks about his new novel, The Hour of Lead. He also explains how the Myth of the West damages human relationships and why the bad guys still get the girls.

About the book:

"American Nightmares"

Nov 17, 2014

(To the American False Dream)

America is
at the door
Soldiers are knocking
asking plitely:
Can we kill you?

America is suicidal
when the streets are empty
America is a bottle of alcohol
in the lonely playgrounds

America is a bloodstain
on Kabul's children's clothes

America cooks meth through gun barrels!

America, why don't you love me?
America, why are your legs shaking?
Do you know hyow the long-bearded men feel at night?
Do you know how many teenages have stopped hoping?

Tim O'Brien talks about his ever-popular novel 'The Things They Carried and describes the difference between literal truth and story truth. He also talks about writing as art and reads a passage from the book.

"The Milltown Union Bar"

Nov 10, 2014

for Harold Herndon

(Laundromat & Cafe)
You could love here, not the lovely goat
in plexiglass nor the elk shot
in the middle of a joke, but honest drunks,
crossed swords above the bar, three men hung
in the bad painting, others riding off
on the phony green horizon. The owner,
fresh from orphan wars, loves too
but bad as you. He keeps improving things
but can't cut the bodies down.

During this program, four Montana Indian authors talk about their stories published in Off the Path: An Anthology of 21st Century Montana American Indian Writers, Vol. I.

Sherman Alexie is not the only American Indian writer. Nor does the experience of one Indian represent the experiences of all Natives living in urban areas and reservations across the U.S.

That point of view, plus insights into American Indian culture and tribal differences, is part of the discussion during this program.

"Outside the St. Ignatius Mission"

Nov 3, 2014

We must be poets to hear from home
on nights like this. The moon
has a thousand echoes
in mud puddles all over town.

The old Mission looms behind life
like something so terribly lost
that life anchors to the loss.
Its aged walls wane to ghost at night.

Through stained glass dim candles radiate
like the soul of something ancient
through the continuance of itself.
Home is a deeper place,

submerged here by the landing of this world
we cannot have
God no longer thunders
from the sky, but whispers

For Today I Am A Boy

Oct 29, 2014

Kim Fu talks about and reads from her debut novel, For Today I Am A Boy.

About the book:

Peter Huang and his sisters—elegant Adele, shrewd Helen, and Bonnie the bon vivant— grow up in a house of many secrets, then escape the confines of small-town Ontario and spread from Montreal to California to Berlin. Peter’s own journey is obstructed by playground bullies, masochistic lovers, Christian ex-gays, and the ever-present shadow of his Chinese father.

"Life"

Oct 27, 2014

To maintain balance of the soul
Is our ultimate goal
For death and life are foe
But yet together stroll
Between the stars and the grasses
As crescent moons come and go
With each winter of snow
May you walk in beauty.

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During this program, Paul Zarzyski talks about and reads from his latest collections of poetry and prose, Steering With My Knees and 51: 30 Poems, 20 Lyrics, 1 Self-Interview, both published by Bangtail Press.

Including:

Poem For October 20

Oct 20, 2014

Today's poem is untitled. It was published in chasers of the light: poems from the typewriter series, by Tyler Knot Gregson.

What good
is a half-lit
life?
You
can burn me
to ashes
as long as I know
we lived a life
alight.

Wyoming author Alexandra Fuller talks about and reads from her third memoir, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness.

About the book:

"Best"

Oct 13, 2014

He told us a story of lightning splitting the lone tree
on a hill's top, killing three horses beneath it at once.

They lay that way through winter; come May, their
licked-clean bones gleamed from a bed to green tendrils

and clover. We knew it had meaning, the way he said;
nature takes care to spirit back what's hers; they'd

been his best. We watched him talk, then he stopped.
This comes to me today just as a curtain of white

sweeps the vineyard, buds thrashed by torrents combing
the rows, the clatter on glass waking my napping boy

Pete Fromm talks about and reads from his latest novel, If Not For This

About the book:

"Responsibility"

Oct 6, 2014

At the lower fence line under the stars
he hears what at first he takes
to be the neighbor's mare,
come to investigate his apple pocket,

but then gets that neck-chill
and knows otherwise and turns
to see by starlight alone a dust devil
spitting along perpendicular to the wire

and straight at him. He's seen thousands
of the things but never crossed paths
with one on foot, and watches
as long as he can before the grit

Bryce Andrews talks about his decision to move to a cattle ranch in Montana and about the memoir he wrote about his experiences there, Badluck Way. He also reads two passages from the book.

About the Book:

"Tide Blossoms"

Sep 29, 2014
Duane Niatum
Klallam Tribe, Native American, poet

She and I alone step down the shore.
I hold her close because she's a daughter of the sea.
We watch boats cross the jetty's corridor.

The autumn storm strikes our bodies with its lore
as the voices of the wind we hear and seek.
She and I alone step down the shore.

The clouds that spark return the blue to force;
the rain drowns out the breakers ebbing reefs.
We watch boats cross the jetty's corridor.

Carol Bradley, author of Last Chain on Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top, talks about the cruel lives of circus elephants and what we can do to stop it.

Utah author James Dashner talks about a few of the 16 books he's written, including The Maze Runner, which is now a feature film. He also describes the process of turning his childhood dream to be an author into reality.

About the book:

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