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, Montana Senior News, Outside Bozeman Magazine, and on numerous websites.

Ways to Connect

Desert Dark by Sonja Stone is kind of a scary book. Nadia is a smart, adventurous and witty young girl who gets chosen for a special school. She is really good at math, coding, and programming. Her new school turns out to be a special spy training school and she eventually trains to become a spy for the CIA. At school she learns how to program and stuff, but I can’t say anymore because it would give too much away.  She’s pretty thrilled at first, but then with the dangers it brings, she’s forced to make decisions that she normally wouldn’t have to make.

In these twelve new stories of All I Want Is What You’ve Got, award-winning author Glen Chamberlain deftly writes about the fragility of small town life. Chamberlain ushers us amongst the half-broken lives, sharing the moments of regret, yet allowing the redemptive qualities of her characters to ultimately shine through. From a night nurse confessing her forgotten desires to an invalid to a Chinese girl trying to piece together a past from a single photograph; from an elderly rodeo cowboy falling in love with a beautiful stranger to a woman acutely aware of the intricacies that lead to her own death, All I Want Is What You’ve Got is that book of stories that reveals how the most profound moments in life are the ones taken for granted.

Ken / Creative Commons

by Stan Sanvel Rubin

Penguin Random House

At the heart of this exciting debut novel, set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid-1970s, is fifteen-year-old Loretta, who slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet her so-called gentile boyfriend. Her strict Mormon parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. The Harders relocate to his native Idaho, where Dean’s teenage nephew Jason falls hard for Loretta. A Zeppelin and Tolkien fan, Jason worships Evel Knievel and longs to leave his close-minded community. He and Loretta make a break for it. They drive all night, stay in hotels, and relish their dizzying burst of teenage freedom as they seek to recover Dean’s cache of “Mormon gold.” But someone Loretta left behind is on their trail…

'Aftershock'

Jun 13, 2016
Joe Shlabotnik

by Richard O. Moore

Afterward, you look on the world as a happy place
flush from arrival into a new land of not being in pain.
Is there anything forgotten, now that the screaming's stopped?

University of Nebraska Press

The meeting room was crowded and restless when Bitterroot Valley resident Dennis Palmer rose from his seat and declared, “We don’t want the doggone bears.”  This bold declaration, while representing the sentiments of many attending the public meeting in small, conservative Hamilton, Montana, was more measured than others.  Long-time resident Robert Norton confidently stated, “Women and children are going to be killed and maimed.”  During a similar meeting held in Hamilton two years later, an opponent of grizzly reintroduction read aloud the pathology report of a woman who had been mauled by a grizzly bear in Glacier National Park and displayed a picture of the mangled body for everyone to see. Another positively asserted that people “would rather reintroduce rattlesnakes and water moccasins than grizzly bears.”  Histrionics reached an apex when one local resident lifted his young daughter above his head in the middle of the meeting room.  Everyone’s eyes turned toward the young girl as her father announced to the room that she would be bear bait if the federal government reintroduced grizzlies.  In High Country News, a reporter summed up the frenetic atmosphere of a meeting in rural Salmon, Idaho, which was similar to the other six meetings held across Montana and Idaho in October, 1997, by wryly observing, “Big, stout fully grown men displayed the kind of hostility and fear bordering on panic that, when voiced by women, is usually dismissed as hysteria.”

Kate Ter Haar

"The Pea Green Boat" provides a unique and nurturing place to hear stories about how it feels to be excluded, mocked, and bullied because you’re different, in color or ability – or how it feels to be accepted despite those differences. This week, Annie facilitates a conversation about megalencephaly.

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

Louisa Billiter

"The Pea Green Boat" provides a unique and nurturing place to hear stories about how it feels to be excluded, mocked, and bullied because you’re different, in color or ability – or how it feels to be accepted despite those differences. This week, Annie talks about kindness with middle school children who share their "hurtful" experiences.

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