MTPR

Chérie Newman

Arts and Culture Producer

Chérie Newman is an arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. Her weekly literary program, The Write Question, is broadcast on several public radio stations, and available online at PRX.org and MTPR.org.

Her articles, essays, and book reviews have been published in Montana Magazine, High Country News, the University of Montana Alumni Newsletter, Whitefish Review, the Billings Gazette, the Missoulian, the Missoula IndependentMontana Senior News, Outside Bozeman Magazine, and on numerous websites.

Ways to Connect

by Noah Belanger

I moved to Missoula two years ago without a solid plan. I knew that, eventually, I would attend the University of Montana, but I couldn’t begin to tell you what I would study or when that would be. I wasn’t even sure this was the real reason I was here. What I did know is that when I drove over Lost Trail Pass and headed down the Bitterroot towards Missoula, when I saw impossibly hard and beautiful mountains butt up against soft green valley, I was in love.

Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press

Chapter 14:  The Circle

It’s a universal truth that much of what we see around us follows a circle. Considered the father of modern observational astronomy, Galileo had it right: our planet does not hover motionless at the center of the universe, it orbits the sun. Chris Columbus didn’t fall off the edge of the Earth when he set sail from Spain seeking a new trade route to the East Indies. Whether it be moon phases, tidal patterns, or the annual changing of the seasons, recurrence is the norm. Examples are endless. No clearer is this principle than in nature’s rhythm of renewal and continuance — the water and nitrogen cycles, the ten-year cycle of snowshoe hare abundance, and life’s circle of birth, death, decomposition, and rebirth.

At twenty years old, Pete Fromm heard of a job babysitting salmon eggs, seven winter months alone in a tent in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Leaping at this chance to be a mountain man, with no experience in the wilds, he left the world. Thirteen years later, he published his beloved memoir of that winter, Indian Creek Chronicles —Into the Wild with a twist.

Penguin Random House

It’s Thanksgiving Day, and in a few hours an army of Santas in shopping malls and department stores will start asking children what they want for Christmas. That tradition bothers Sarah Linden, a Helena photographer and mother of two. She wanted something better for her children.

Sarah Linden:  A few years ago, around Christmas time, my kiddos were being kids and I started noticing a trend of What do I get next? What’s for me? I want more of this. I want more of this. And I just finally realized that there had to be something better that we could be doing. And so Santa Clause wrote a letter to my kids inviting them to be a part of the North Pole Ninja team.

On December 16, 2011, I was one of a couple hundred history-conscious Missoulians who walked onto a snow-covered bluff above the Milltown Dam abutment to see something you almost never get to see: a river tangibly restored. Below us, the Clark Fork began to spill down its reconstructed stream bed, joining the also-undamned Blackfoot River in free flow for the first time since the dam was built in 1908.

The Forbidden Library, by Django Wexler, is the first book in The Forbidden Library series. It’s an excellent book and I enjoyed it immensely. The main character is Alice who finds out she is a type of person called a Reader, with a capital “r.” Readers like Alice can send themselves into books and capture the creatures inside of them. In order to capture the creatures, they have to defeat them first, then find a special mental thread they tug with their mind which makes the creatures just suddenly pop into existence. Some of the creatures she captures are Swarmers. They are little black fuzzball things that look cute, but have a penchant for blood. Kind of nasty unless you’ve tamed them.

Nov. 30 marks the end of open burning season in Montana.
Karl Nousiainen

by Michael Revere

Starting fire in a downpour
is no problem for you and me.
We burn good together.

As we tend the late fall slash fire,
I say, "Sweat feels good."
You say I'm "nasty" and smile.
I see beautiful curves
outlined under your t-shirt.
A small, dried out spruce tree
bursts into flame.

Beacon Press

Brad Tyer: Sacrificial Landscapes

I stare in wonder at a handful of bright turquoise bones gathered behind the CVS in downtown Butte. I came here to see them for myself, as I was told these bones have been dyed from copper sulfate leaching from the soil. I guess I didn’t believe our situation was that bad, but now I see. Up the hill from where I stand, massive gallows frames poke their heads from behind brick buildings; to my right, the East Ridge is exposed in a stepped face leading down an open pit mine. In my hands and surrounding me on all sides are the effects of my hometown’s mining past.

When former foreign correspondent Lola Wicks heads to Wyoming for a Yellowstone vacation, she comes across a story that hits close to her past. One Wyoming soldier returning from Afghanistan commits suicide, two others spark a near-fatal brawl, and a woman is terrorized. Lola, accompanied by her young daughter, senses a story about whatever happened on the far side of the world that these troops have brought so disastrously home. But she soon realizes that getting the story must take second place to getting herself—and her little girl—out of Wyoming alive.

Knopf Books for Young Readers

The trouble With Twins, by Kathryn Siebel is a very funny, and at times suspenseful, book. The main characters are Arabella and Henrietta Osgood, two very nice girls who are twins. They were born on the second and third days of April. Henrietta was born a little before midnight on the second and Arabella was born a little while after in the early morning on the third. That’s how they can be twins but be born on separate days.

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