The Write Question

Thursday 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM

The Write Question is a program that features authors from the western United States, including James Lee Burke, Maile Meloy, Thomas McGuane, Kim Barnes, Robert Wrigley, Jess Walter, Pam Houston, Barry Lopez, and hundreds of others.

The Write Question is produced by Montana Public Radio and also broadcast by Spokane Public Radio, KSJD transmitting to the Four Corners area from Cortez, CO, and Yellowstone Public Radio, transmitting to eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming, as well as through the Public Radio Exchange.

Chérie Newman
Credit Kristi Hager

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TWQ is supported by Humanities Montana - connecting kids to community, supporting vital cultural institutions, and encouraging community conversations - and by Public Radio Listeners.

The Write Question is produced by Chérie Newman. Executive producer, Michael Marsolek; studio engineer, Beth Anne Austein.

Special thanks to Barbara Theroux and Kim Anderson.

The music in some programs was written and performed by John Floridis.

In 1810, John Jacob Astor sent out two advance parties to settle the wild, unclaimed western coast of North America. More than half of his men died violent deaths. The others survived starvation, madness, and greed to shape the destiny of a continent.

Listen as Peter Stark describes how the killing of a Blackfoot man by the Lewis and Clark expedition came back to haunt later fur trappers.

Pete Hurley is not the first person to have the idea that building his dream house in the country will bring him some kind of peace and happiness. But he may be the first to arrive in Montana with a World Series ring, a three-legged dog, and a thirst for self-destruction.

"Gathering Mint," a poem by Laurie Wagner Buyer

Jun 10, 2013

He woke quiet, ate potatoes and eggs
sitting alone on a cottonwood stump in the sun.

At noon he took a rifle, burlap bag, and handful
     of dried apples,
saddled the glass-eyed gelding, corralled
     the wayward mare,
whistled one long high note for the hound
     and was gone.

It was late the first summer, river running
     low, meadow grass tassels paled by wind.
I weeded the garden one faded row at a time
     while the goats lazed in barn shade
and the mare paced,
     nickering again and again.

During this program, Chérie Newman talks with Jo Deurbrouck about her nonfiction book, Anything Worth Doing: A true story of adventure, friendship and tragedy on the last of the West's great rivers, which won a 2012 National Outdoor Book Award.

Chérie Newman talks with Spokane author Sharma Shields about the stories in her collection, Favorite Monster, winner of an Autumn House Fiction Prize. Shields also reads two short passages from the book.

During this program, Susanna Sonnenberg talks about her new memoir, She Matters: A Life In Relationships, and the evolution of her friendships with women.

From the Publisher:

During this program, Chérie Newman talks with Spokane author Gregory Spatz about his collection of stories Half as Happy.

A grieving couple rents a desperate landlord’s house in an effort to recover lost intimacy. Twins are irrevocably separated by events both beyond and within their control. A nighttime prank and its gruesome aftermath forge human connections no one could have anticipated.

San Francisco-based author Sherril Jaffe talks about creative inspiration and reads from her award-winning collection, You Are Not Alone & Other Stories.

A homeless woman takes up residence in a man's closet; a detective solves cases by feeling the emotions of the perpetrators; a woman happens upon a swingers' club in the back of a tire shop; a couple struggling with their pets' protracted endgame puts out a hit on them; and a man's mother, newly dead and buried, calls him to ask if she can visit.

During this program, Chérie Newman talks with Pam Houston about her book Contents May Have Shifted, a novel which Houston admits is about 87% true. So why didn't she publish it as a memoir? Newman wants to know. The answer has to do with the public's perception of truth and, of course, publishing industry lawyers.

About Contents May Have Shifted:

Stuck in a dead-end relationship, this fearless narrator leaves her metaphorical baggage behind and finds a comfort zone in the air, “feeling safest with one plane ticket in her hand and another in her underwear drawer.”