The Write Question

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

The Write Question podcast

'Happy Hour'

Jan 25, 2016
Snowshoe Photography - Alaska's Photostream

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

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

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.

'Right'

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.

'This Raging Light' By Estelle Laure

Jan 12, 2016

This Raging Light

by Estelle Laure

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015

Everyone seems to know about Lucille's father – how he went crazy and tried to strangle her mother; and seventeen-year old Lucille had to pull him off of her with her bare hands. But what they don't know, is that while her mother survived the attack, something apparently died within her as well; and she left Lucille and her nine year old sister, Wren, to go on a “vacation” by herself to figure things out.

"the little shits in daycare"

Jan 11, 2016
Many Voices Press / Flathead Valley Community College

substitute teaching one day
they, too young to be properly diagnosed
a.d.d, a.d.h.d, FAS,
abused, neglected,
child of an alcoholic
3rd born in a line of 5
whatever
they were out of control
unmedicated
unruly
i walk in to rule
not
in one day can i undo
all that's been done to them
instead
of being the calm in the eye of the storm
i become the wicked witch upon which
the house lands
barely
escaping with my life
as i wave goodbye
have a nice day

Tugboat Design / Encante Press

About the book:

Endangered Edens: Exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, the Everglades, and Puerto Rico is the follow-up to Marty Essen's six-time award-winning book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents.

Snakes, Alligators, and Broken Hearts: Journeys of a Biologist's Son

by Sneed B. Collard III

Bucking Horse Books, 2015

I don't think that children (or adults, for that matter) wonder as much about the lives of nonfiction writers as they do about writers of fiction. Reading Snakes, Alligators, and Broken Hearts made me wonder why. While Sneed B. Collard III has written eleven books of children's fiction (one under a pseudonym), he has been most prolific in writing children's nonfiction, mostly about the natural world, and historical biographies.

'Every Place I've Ever Lived Is Gone'

Jan 4, 2016
Cazz

pecan groves outside of Lafayette,
the pine woods north of Spokane,

the field by my house where the snow piled deep,
where a snow owl passed so silently and low

it changed my idea of ghosts—
now they're stores,

and neighborhoods named after trees,
and spillover parking for a church,

and maybe the choir sings hymns so beautifully
it's fine; I'll call it the future, agree that it's bright.

But west of Washtucna, Washington,
the highway stretches through the dark...

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