MTPR

The Write Question

Thursday 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM

The Write Question is a weekly literary 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 Chérie Newman. Executive producer, Michael Marsolek; studio engineer, Beth Anne Austein. The music in some programs was written and performed by John Floridis.

The Write Question podcast

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'Buffalo'

Nov 14, 2016
Shawn McCready

by Eduardo Chirinos

In days of old, buffalo dotted the plains
with a soft, light brown.

Their hooves fearlessly trampled these pastures.
This was their home, their vast

© Michael Nichols/National Geographic Yellowstone National Park. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River from Artist Point.

The May 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine is devoted entirely to America's first national park: Yellowstone. It's more than just a park. It's a place where, 140 years ago, we began to negotiate a peace treaty with the wild.  David Quammen tells the story of the park in a four-part essay. He is the only author to write the entire narrative for an entire issue of National Geographic Magazine.

Yellowstone National Park: America’s Wild Idea. These stories and pictures of Yellowstone National Park's animals will surprise you.

Paul Elliott photo

by Rob Carney

I'm glad that wool was saved from coyotes,
glad for winter with its sight lines, glad for trees,

the way they cooperate
by letting go of their leaves.

And I'm glad for the skill of the helicopter pilot,
ski-smooth even in the crosswinds,

Mountaineers Books

Swallowed by the Great Land: And Other Dispatches From Alaska's Frontier is a collection of compelling Alaska stories from Seth Kantner, bestselling author of Ordinary Wolves.

When Seth Kantner's novel, Ordinary Wolves, was published 10 years ago, it was a literary revelation of sorts. In a raw, stylized voice it told the story of a white boy growing up with homesteading parents in Arctic Alaska and trying to reconcile his largely subsistence and Native-style upbringing with the expectations and realities tied to his race. It hit numerous bestseller lists, was critically acclaimed, and won a number of awards.

Algonquin Young Readers

This is Logan, here to tell you about Beastly Bones and Ghostly Echoes, the second and third books in the Jackaby series. Both books are by William Ritter.

Beastly Bones is the second book, while Ghostly Echoes is the third. Both are the same genre as Jackaby, which is mystery/horror.

Milk and Filth
cover dsign and image: Evan Lavender-Smith / University of Arizona Press

"All of us gun owners, pro-rights-pro-life, pro-choice…  all of us are being oppressed by this same coterie of rich people. But we’re oppressing each other through hate. And that’s great for that 1%. They’re thrilled when we’re fighting about trifling things because they have all our money now." — Carmen Giménez Smith

'Vasectomy'

Oct 24, 2016
Confluence Press

by Greg Keeler

waiting for an hour alone
in the white room

naked from the waist down
clean flesh on clean sheets

polished steel and rubber tubes
behind reminiscences

of alcibiades on his*
lopping spree (would bogart

Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books

Welcome to Quinn, Montana, population: 956. A town where nearly all of the volunteer firemen are named Jim, where The Dirty Shame—the only bar in town—refuses to serve mixed drinks (too much work), where the locals hate the newcomers (then again, they hate the locals, too), and where the town softball team has never even come close to having a winning season. Until now.

'Rain'

Oct 17, 2016
Jordan Hackworth

by David Allan Cates

A flash on the ridge lengthens shadows, dims the wire
of ravens, and you retreat again tonight.

Madness drives us to bury seeds in what solitude
and night reveal—or perhaps it's only vigor.

Born in longing, words come to life in whispers,
the first truth I know.

During this special episode of The Write Question, Beth Hunter McHugh talks about creativity; Barbara Van Cleve shares her opinion about the romance of The West; Joe Wilkins describes how the birth of his son ignited a fire-storm of poetry; Paula McLain talks about the challenges of writing first-person, historical narrative; Ken Ilgunas relates the story of his encounter with a self-appointed posse in northeastern Montana; and New Mexico poet Carmen Giménez Smith shares her process of narrative compression.

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