The Write Question

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



Feb 8, 2016
Doug Wheller (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


Logic of properties,
hieroglyphics of logical
situations are, of necessity
true, although independent
of falsehood or truth.

Thus, in speaking the truth,
"A world is, as it were,
put together experimentally."


Drumlummon Contemporary Fiction Series / Riverbend Publishing

Survivors Said contains Matt Pavelich's best stories written over four decades. About the collection, Gish Jen, author of Typical American and The Love Wife , writes, “What writing! The stories in Survivors Said are of the young and the old, of people getting out and people getting by. . . .

Camas & Sage: A Story of Bison Life on the Prairie

by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

illustrated by Christina Wald

Mountain Press Publishing Company, 2015

Camas & Sage is really almost two books in one. The picture book story tells of a lead bison cow named Sage who gives birth to a calf she names Camas. The story follows Camas through her first year of life, from taking her first steps and nursing to following her mother as she leads the herd to find fresh food and water. She learns how to play with the other calves as the adults in the herd position themselves carefully to be aware of predators. The herd braves spring rainstorms and encounters humans at campsites and prairie dogs in the fields. In the summer, Camas learns to protect herself from insects by roaming to higher ridgetops where the wind keeps the bugs at bay, and rolling in the dirt to relieve their itching skin. In late summer, the rut begins, and bulls join the herd, battling each other with their foreheads for the right to mate with the cows. Camas follows her mother as she leaves the herd to mate, and learns to depend more on grass for nourishment as Sage starts to wean her during pregnancy. The cows and calves grow extra fur to protect them from Montana's harsh winters and plow through the snow to find fresh grass to eat. By the time spring arrives, the calves (now yearlings) are becoming more independent, and Camas prepares to take on a leadership role in the herd as her mother gives birth to another calf.

Penguin Books

About the Book:

In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly Native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances–until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town, and it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.

'Duck & Goose: Let's Dance!' By Tad Hills

Jan 26, 2016

Duck & Goose: Let's Dance

by Tad Hills

original song by Lauren Savage and Ross Gruet

Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016

Anyone who has ever read stories to a group of young children knows that it's best to plan time for some movement every now and then in between asking the kids to sit still and listen. Duck & Goose: Let's Dance combines a simple picture book story with teaching the “Duck and Goose Dance.” The simple body movements will be easy enough for the youngest toddlers to accomplish and children of all ages will enjoy watching Duck, Goose, and their bird friends jump, quack, shake their bodies, walk like a duck, and move their tails in simple and colorful illustrations.

'Happy Hour'

Jan 25, 2016
Snowshoe Photography - Alaska's Photostream

I always forget the name,
even though it was the flower

the hummingbirds
loved best. They came in pairs—sleek,

heads, the clockwork machinery
of their blurred wings
thrumming swift, menacing engines.

They slipped their beaks.
as if they were swizzle sticks, deep
into the blue

Candlewick Press

About the book:

In MARTians, last girl Zoë Zindleman, numerical ID 009-99-9999, is starting work at AllMART, where "your smile is the AllMART welcome mat." Her living arrangements are equally bleak: she can wait for her home to be foreclosed and stripped of anything valuable now that AnnaMom has moved away, leaving Zoë behind, or move to the Warren, an abandoned strip-mall-turned-refuge for other left-behinds. With a handful of other disaffected, forgotten kids, Zoë must find her place in a world that has consumed itself beyond redemption. She may be a last girl, but her name means "life," and Zoë isn’t ready to disappear into the AllMART abyss. Zoë wants to live.

'ABC Dream' By Kim Krans

Jan 19, 2016

ABC Dream

by Kim Krans

Random House Books for Young Readers, 2016

ABC Dream is a stunning picture book debut by artist and musician Kim Krans. Each page (and sometimes a two-page spread) is devoted to a letter of the alphabet, standing large and proud, in a classic font in pen and ink, but surrounded by images, colors, and even textures inspired by that letter.


Jan 18, 2016

The other one has tried to reach it
across the ocean of the shoulder,
tried to stop it from hitting, from sending
a man to death with a scribbled word.

The body wishes it would listen
more to the body, refuse for once
this urge to travel an alley without
eye, tongue, or the two versatile feet.

The heart, tomorrow, will have her way
with it. Like the bones of the rib cage,
so birds of the air. The river will turn
in its path, the blue ground angle up,

Simon & Schuster

 About the book:

House of the Rising Sun tells the story of a father and son separated by war and circumstance—and whose encounter with the legendary Holy Grail will change their lives forever.